Skyline International condemns the decision taken by the German authorities to deport a Palestinian writer after arresting him for expressing his opinion due to political pressure.
On June 22, 2019, the Palestinian author Khalid Barakat was arrested by the German authorities and informed of the decision to force him to leave the country with his wife Charlotte Kates.
Barakat has been working as a journalist, writer and resident in the German capital Berlin for more than a year and a half, while Kets serves as the international coordinator of “Samedon network” , which advocates for Palestinian prisoners. The German authorities granted them until the end of July to leave Germany, and decided not to renew their stay.
According to available information, the German authorities prevented writer Barakat from participating in any political or cultural activities, and from participating in family and social gatherings of more than ten people. They warned him no to violate these decisions, which could lead to his imprisonment for more than a year and fined him financially.
Germany has accused the Palestinian writer of carrying out a series of activities, seminars and interviews for years, some of them “indicative of his anti-Semitism and of Israel,” according to the decision.
“The arrest of Barakat on the background of freedom of expression and his opinion by writing articles and participating in activities and events related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” says Meqdad Jameel, a researcher at Skyline International.
Jameel says that the German authorities relied on reports from Israeli writers in the charges against Barkat. This is not proven, and it is politically motivated. Israel’s supporters around the world target all dissidents in an attempt to silence the pro-Palestinian voice or anyone uttered his opinion against Israel.
He considers that these decisions are contrary to the text of the German Basic Law in Article 5, which states that “everyone has the right to express his opinion and freely post his writing, speech or image,” as well as Germany’s legal obligations under the conventions and treaties International.
Jameel confirms that the decision to deport writer Barakat because of the expression of opinion is breaking down and demolishes what is being promoted by German politicians about Germany as a democratic country that protects various rights and freedoms.
He also calls upon the German authorities to abandon the decision to expel Barakat and Kets, and the need to provide a safe environment for activists and writers of different orientations, and not to resort to certain political orientations in the decisions taken by them. stressing “to abide by the principles of international law and German laws that protect human rights in this regard.”