Euromed Rights Search

Israeli crackdown on members of the Health Work Committee specialising in Palestinian women and children’s health

1 Apr 2021

April - July 2021: Woman human rights defender and Director of the Health Work Committee (HWC), Shatha Odeh, was arbitrarily arrested by Israeli soldiers and detained on 7 July. She has been charged with “holding a position in an unlawful association”, “presence in a public event on 14 May 2019”, “receiving and bringing funds illegally into the area”, “receiving funds and support fraudulently” and “the fraudulent use of documents” according to Front Line Defenders. A few months previously on 13 April, HWC’s project coordinator, Spanish woman human rights defender Juana Ruiz Sánchez, was arrested and detained on charges of “participating in the activities of an illegal organisation,” “being part of the board of directors of an illegal organisation,” “receiving and introducing money into the Palestinian territories” and “of receiving money for a false purpose,” according to Front Line Defenders.

See FIDH (October 2021) and Front Line Defenders (here and here).


Statement by WHRD MENA coalition on Shatha Odeh
Online campaign with the hashthag #FreeShathaOdeh
European Parliamentary questions to Vice-President of the Commission/High Rep for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Sánchez’s detention and other HWC staff
Urgent Appeal by Front Line Defenders
Crackdown on HWC mentioned in OHCHR statement