The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) strongly condemns the smear campaign launched against the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese.
Israeli media recently accused Albanese of sympathizing with terror organizations, dismissing Israeli security concerns, comparing Israelis to Nazis, and accusing Israel of potential war crimes.
The Italian lawyer was appointed earlier this year as the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories.
The rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council tasked with investigating human rights in Palestinian areas, publishing public reports and working with governments and other groups on the issue.
A review of her past social media posts reveals that she has been a strong advocate of justice, peace, and human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Albanese has also frequently condemned Israel’s human rights violations and crimes, including house demolitions in the occupied territories, ethnic cleansing campaigns, air strikes on the Gaza Strip, arbitrary arrests, illegal settlement expansion, and land grab among other internationally-prohibited crimes.
The UN Rapporteur has chosen to stand on the right side of history by referring to Israel as a settler-colonial enterprise and to the pre-state British mandate as foreign interlopers subjugating an indigenous Palestinian population, in reference to the notorious Balfour Declaration of 1917 which led to the forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes. Today, over 8 million Palestinian refugees are scattered across the globe, torn from the nourishment of home and warmth of family.
PRC appreciates Albanese’s efforts and harsh criticism of Israel’s apartheid practices and expresses solidarity after yet another politically-motivated attack against her mandate. As she, herself, said “the aim is to obscure the oppressive reality she is mandated to report on”. The UN Rapporteur should not let anyone define who she is and what she stands for.