On June 27th the International Cooperation Committee of the Spanish Congress approved unanimously a motion put forward by our parliamentary group supporting the legitimate defence of Human Rights. The amended motion calls on the Government “to recognise and defend the right of human rights activists from Palestine, Israel and other countries, to engage in legal and peaceful activities, protected by the right to freedom of speech and assembly, such as the right to promote boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns”.

This approval means that our Government must uphold those rights and act against the harassment of activists, in Spain in and many other countries, engaged in peaceful, legal and legitimate campaigns against the violation of human rights in Palestine. By doing so, our Congress has joined the many voices that have already recognised the right to BDS as freedom of speech, like Federica Mogherini (EU Vice-President and High Representative), the Governments of Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden, and the Parliament of Navarre.

Over the last few months, Podemos has defended a number of actions denouncing the repression and threats against BDS activists such as Omar Barghouti. We have also condemned, and tabled a parliamentary question regarding the cancellation on January 31st of the event “Palestinian society under occupation and apartheid, Non-Violent Resistance, Boycotting Israel (BDS) and Supporting Human Rights” in the Casa Árabe, the International Institute for Arab Studies in Madrid. These and many other actions are part of Podemos’s commitment to the defence of human rights and international law and against apartheid in Palestine.

Besides Palestine, our motion approved on June 27th calls on the Government to protect other human rights activists, highlighting specifically the threats against the defence of environmental rights in Latin America and LGTBI rights. Sadly, well-known cases such as the murders of Berta Cáceres – for her campaigning against transnational abuses in Honduras – and Hander Kader – for her work denouncing the harassment and violence against transexual and homosexual persons in Turkey – are just two of the most recognisable examples in a long list of persecutions all over the world against individual human rights campaigners and organisations.