On Tuesday morning, 16 February 2021, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan) sent a legal memo to the Higher Sharia Court Council (the Council) in Gaza concerning Judicial Circular no. 01/2021 (the Circular) on travel restrictions, which was issued based on a ruling by the Supreme Sharia Court on 14 February 2021.
The imposed restriction on freedom of movement set forth in the Circular are in clear violation of the Amended Basic Law of 2003 (temporary constitution), Civil Law No. 4 of 2012, and Sharia Judicial Law No. 3 of 2011. It also blatantly disregards the right to equality and non-discrimination. In the memorandum, Al Mezan also stressed that enacting such regulations falls outside the jurisdiction of the Council as specified in the law governing its establishment and scope of authority.
Al Mezan further underlined the vagueness of legal terms used in the Circular and the derogatory nature of the terms used to refer to women, thus explicitly contravening a range of internationally recognized human rights standards.
Accordingly, Al Mezan called on the Council in Gaza to revoke the unconstitutional Circular no. 01/2021 and to uphold Palestine’s obligations arising from the State’s accession to relevant international treaties.