Birzeit University Condemns Attack on Human Rights Staffer

Yesterday evening, an unknown assailant or assailants attacked with stones the home and person of Birzeit University employee Hanan Elmasu, the coordinator of the University’s Human Rights Action Project. Birzeit University strongly condemns the attack and is committed to taking all measures to ensure the safety and security of its employees.

The attack came at approximately 2:30 AM on December 11 when a stone was hurled through Hanan Elmasu’s Ramallah residence. When she went outside to check, she was hit in the head by another stone; she passed out from the blow for several hours. The first stone was wrapped in a piece of paper containing portions of a statement initiated by Palestinian intellectuals abroad expressing their concern at violations of freedom of expression in Palestine. A warning directed at Hanan was written in poor English.

The University affirms its strong commitment to the safety and security of all University employees, and the University’s appreciation for the work of human rights staffer Hanan Elmasu, which has made an important contribution to defending students against human rights violations, whether illegal detentions or Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement, over the past two and a half years. The University community will continue to operate in a spirit of democracy, freedom of expression, and tolerance. The cowardly attack on Hanan Elmasu came as International Human Rights Day drew to a close; the University notes that the protection of human rights is a constant obligation.