FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On 24th July 2006, Maria Nikiforou was forcibly sent back to Greece from Tel Aviv airport, despite the decision of the appeal court.
The judge had intialy issued a stay on her deportation order. After reviewing secret evidence provided by the Israeli “General Security Services” (Shabak/Shin Beit), he then reversed his previous decision without explanation. Upon hearing of the reversal, Maria’s lawyer Leah Tsemel immediately filed an appeal. The appeal judge then granted an indefinate stay of deportation. When Tsemel came to see her client on July 26th, she was stunned to find that she had been deported anyway, against the orders of the appeal court.
The right to a fair trial is guaranteed by international law. Israel’s use of secret evidence in cases involving Palestinian and international activists contravenes international legal standards. In the name of ‘security’, Israel regularly imprisons and deports Palestinian and international activists without a fair hearing, on the basis of ‘secret evidence’ provided by the Shabak, which the defense does not get a chance to review.
Leah Tsemel +972 2 627 3373
ISM Media office +972 2 297 1824