GENEVA, May 1, 2013 – In response to new revelations, a top contender for the world’s premier human rights prize — one of three Final Nominees selected by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and eight other NGOs — today acknowledged having posted “anti-Israel tweets.” See UN Watch’s original release here.
Controversy erupted after Mona Seif was named last week a Final Nominee for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, considered “the Nobel for human rights.” Egyptian human rights activists criticized Seif’s tweets supporting the targeting of civilians in Israel. Click here to see Seif’s tweets advocating terrorism; other hateful tweets here.
UN Watch yesterday sent a letter to prize chair Hans Thoolen asking him to drop Seif on acount of her support for terrorism, and appealed to former Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey, the foundation chair; Human Rights Watch and the other jury members; and prize patron Theo Van Boven, a Dutch law professor and former UN expert. None has yet responded.
Earlier today, Seif responded on Twitter: “Just a note: all my anti-Israel tweets were written in English precisely so that the international community celebrating our revolution understands that we support the resistance of the palestinian nation against israel. I didn’t fool anyone or hide my thoughts… I support a nation’s right to resist occupation! Sending me tweets calling me a terrorist won’t change the fact that [the] real terrorist is Israel.”
In a similar incident in March, Egyptian activist Samira Ibrahim went to Washington to receive a State Department award when suddenly it was revealed that she had cheered a terrorist attack against Israelis and made other antisemitic comments. Though initially she claimed her Twitter account had been hacked, she eventually acknowledged having made “statements hostile to Zionism,” for which she refused to apologize. Her award was canceled.