By Electronic Intifada
Israel has begun the secret trial of an official from the Christian global development charity World Vision amid condemnation from human rights defenders.
On Tuesday, Mohammed El Halabi, the organization’s Gaza director, was brought before a pre-trial hearing in Bir al-Saba, a city in the south of present-day Israel.
All media and World Vision staff were prevented from attending the hearing, Halabi’s lawyer told the AFP news agency.
“A trial is legitimate if it is transparent,” World Vision International’s CEO Kevin Jenkins said.
“Secret trials are the most flagrant violation of the right to a public hearing. Holding these court proceedings behind closed doors would render any convictions obtained unsound,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program.