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Aryeh Makhlouf Deri
Minister of Interior Affairs
2 Kaplan Street
PO Box 6158
Jerusalem, 91061, Israel
Fax: + 972 2 670 1628
Email: [email protected]
Dear Minister Aryeh Deri,
On 22 January 2019, the Israeli Ministry of Interior Affairs ordered the expulsion to Jordan of Palestinian photojournalist Mustafa al-Kharouf, after denying his request for a family unification. Mustafa al-Kharouf, 32, was born in Algeria to a Palestinian father and has lived in East Jerusalem with his family since the age of 12. He is now married to Tamam al-Kharouf, a resident of East Jerusalem. Mustafa al-Kharouf has been held in detention at Givon prison, located in Ramle in central Israel, for over 70 days and risks being be forcibly deported.
Mustafa al-Kharouf works as a photojournalist for Anadolu Agency and has been reporting on human rights violations committed by Israeli forces. Amnesty International fears that Mustafa al-Kharouf’s arbitrary detention and the decision to forcibly deport him are intended to stop him from carrying out his journalistic work. In any event, his deportation from East Jerusalem would violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel has been a state party since 1951. We are extremely concerned that if Mustafa al-Kharouf is expelled to Jordan, where he has no legal status, he will remain stateless and be separated from his family. As a Palestinian Jerusalemite, Mustafa al-Kharouf has a temporary Jordanian travel document that does not entitle him to Jordanian citizenship or residency rights, but at most to a short stay in Jordan.
I urge you to immediately release Mustafa al-Kharouf from Givon prison, and, in line with Israel’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, ensure that he can remain safely in his home by granting him permanent residency status in East Jerusalem.