- Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR, Arabic: المركز الفلسطيني لحقوق الإنسان) is an independent Palestinian human rights organization based in Gaza City, founded and directed by Raji Sourani. The non-governmental organization was established in 1995 by a group of Palestinian lawyers and human rights activists and receives funding from governmental, non-governmental, and religious sources.
Principles and philosophy
The Centre states on its website that its founding principles are to:
- Protect human rights and promote the rule of law in accordance with international standards.
- Create and develop democratic institutions and an active civil society, while promoting democratic culture within Palestinian society.
- Support all the efforts aimed at enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights in regard to self-determination and independence in accordance with international Law and UN resolutions.
In its philosophy statement, PCHR repudiates the Oslo Accords as 'fatally flawed' and adds:
Moreover, the Oslo accords failed to address the essential elements of the Palestinian question -- the right to self-determination, the right to an independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem, the right of return for Palestinian refugees and the removal of Israeli settlements from the OPT. In light of this wide-ranging disregard for the human rights of the Palestinian people, the Centre resolved to continue its work to protect human rights from ongoing violations by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).
The group has consultative and affiliative status with a number of Arab, European and United Nations' organizations and has received the 1996 French Republic Award on Human Rights and the 2002 Bruno Kreisky Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Area of Human Rights. The group has repeatedly called for a ban on capital punishment in the Palestinian territories, which is supported by a majority of Palestinians. The group has also released reports relating to violence in the Palestinian territories and Israel. Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, was denied a permit to exit the Gaza Strip to attend a human rights conference in September 2008.
According to the site's funding page, the following list comprises the Centre's major funding organisations:
- International Commission of Jurists, Sweden Chapter
- Ford Foundation (USA)
- NOVIB (Holland)
- Open Society Fund (USA)
- Christian Aid (UK)
- Dan Church Aid (Denmark)
- Grassroots International (USA)
- European Commission
- Ireland Aid
- Kvinna Till Kvinna – Sweden
- Al Quds Association Malaga – Spain
- Royal Danish Representative Office
- Representative Office of Norway
The group has received funding from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to support the establishment of a Women and Group Rights' Unit.
In their report titled "Impunity for US Peace Activist's Death" that contains eyewitness testimonies for Rachel Corrie's disputable death case, on 30 June 2003, PCHR declared they have "submitted more than 1200 complaints to the Israeli occupying forces regarding human rights violations since the beginning of the current Intifada. In no case in which PCHR has submitted a complaint, has any individual in the Israeli occupying forces, security services or other persons, been prosecuted or otherwise disciplined for any act perpetrated against a Palestinian or foreign national. PCHR asserts that the State of Israel should be aware that where it fails in its specific legal obligations to conduct full and fair investigations into human rights violations, and bring those responsible to justice in accordance with international law, victims of Israeli war crimes may seek alternative judicial remedies abroad, including under the principle of universal jurisdiction." 
The PCHR condemned the Israeli government for allowing "Jewish settler groups to enter the yards of the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem" and for using excessive force against Palestinians attempting to "prevent the provocative entry of settlers into the Mosque."
In 2011 the PCHR criticized a decision by Hamas prohibiting a group of seven high school students from leaving Gaza in order to spend a year studying in the United States. The American nonprofit Amideast had awarded the students special scholarships for the program. A Hamas minister explained that "A 15-year-old girl cannot spend a year in America without a supervisor."
2011 saw further attacks by Hamas who criticised the Centre for releasing a statement with Israeli human rights groups calling for the appropriate treatment for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. 
The Centre has consistenly maintained its fearless stance and has been the leader in the fight to bring Israeli alleged war criminals to justice through use of the principle of universal jurisdiction. A number of promnent international cases have been taken, including that against Maj-Gen Doron Almog in the UK. 
NGO-Monitor, an Israeli NGO watchdog group, has criticized the group for its regularly demonizing Israel, support for Lawfare, use of Apartheid rhetoric and perceived disregard of human rights abuses committed against Israeli civilians:
While PCHR does an important job of describing intra-Palestinian human rights abuses, it is blatantly one-sided in its removal of the context of terror and disregard of human rights abuses committed against Israeli civilians. PCHR also supports "all the efforts aimed at enabling the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights in regard to self-determination and independence," including calls for political, economic, and academic boycotts against Israel.
CAMERA, a pro-Israeli American media watch dog, has criticized the group for "favoring Hamas over Israel" and "describing Israeli military operations as "war crimes"", and has questioned the accuracy of its casualty statistics. 
- ^ a b Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: Funding
- ^ a b Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: About PCHR
- ^ Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: Philosophy
- ^ Angus Reid Global Monitor: Palestinian Majority Opposes Death Penalty
- ^ The Guardian: Baby among 11 dead after Hamas raids criminal gang's Gaza base
- ^ Palestinian News Network: "Human rights report: Israeli forces injure 10 nonviolent demonstrators and a journalist"
- ^ ModKraft: PCHR Director Denied Permit to Exit Gaza
- ^ UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: Occupied Palestinian Territories (GAZA and the West Bank)
- ^ Impunity for US Peace Activist's Death
- ^ "PCHR Condemns Israel's Granting of Permission for Settlers to Enter al-Aqsa Mosque and Use of Excessive Force against Palestinian Civilians". PCHR. http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/PressR/English/2009/104-2009.html. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
- ^ Akram, Fares (19 August 2011). "No U.S. Trip for Students From Gaza, Hamas Says". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/world/middleeast/20gaza.html?_r=1&src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fworld%2Fmiddleeast%2Findex.jsonp. Retrieved 21 August 2011. "The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights criticized the decision to bar the high school students from traveling, saying it meant that 'a number of our best students will be deprived of benefiting from scholarships to study abroad while we are in a dire need to communicate with the outside world, break the isolation and blockade imposed on our people and develop our capacities.'"
- ^ 
- ^ 
- ^ Palestinian Center for Human Rights
- ^ Fact Sheet: Settlements and Apartheid in the OPT
- ^ NGO Monitor Report: Palestinian Center for Human Rights
- ^ Gaza Casualties: Civilian or Combatant?
- Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Web Site
- Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: Weekly Reports 2007-2008
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Palestinian Centre for the Study of Nonviolence — (PCSN) was founded in 1983 by Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian American psychologist, and an advocate of nonviolent resistance. Awad, who was born in Jerusalem, returned to the city on a tourist visa in 1983 to establish the nonviolence… … Wikipedia
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights — Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights … Wikipedia
Human rights commission — A Human Rights Commission is a body set up to investigate, promote and/or protect human rights. The term may refer to international, national or subnational bodies set up for this purpose, such as national human rights institutions or (usually… … Wikipedia
Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran — The state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been criticized both by both Iranians and international human right activists, writers, and NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission have condemned… … Wikipedia
Human rights in Israel — have been evaluated by various non governmental organizations and individuals, often in relation to the ongoing Arab Israeli conflict and the Israeli Palestinian conflict. When analyzing Israel s human rights records, most observers agree that it … Wikipedia
Human rights in the United States — In 1776, Thomas Jefferson proposed a philosophy of human rights inherent to all people in the Declaration of Independence, asserting that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that… … Wikipedia
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights — (SPHR) is a non profit, student based organization that advocates on a strong social justice platform to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people. The group is based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and gained a wide profile after forcing the… … Wikipedia
List of human rights organisations — The list is incomplete; please add known articles or create missing ones The following is a list of articles on the human rights organisations of the world. It does not include political parties, or academic institutions. The list includes both… … Wikipedia
National human rights institutions — (NHRIs) are administrative bodies set up in to protect or monitor human rights in a given country. The growth of such bodies has been encouraged by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which has provided… … Wikipedia
United Nations Human Rights Council — The United Nations Human Rights Council is an international body within the United Nations System. Its stated purpose is to address human rights violations. The Council is the successor to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which was… … Wikipedia