Palestinian Authority Bans Activities by Gay Rights Group

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08/19/2019

A Palestinian gay and transgender rights group vowed on Monday to continue its activities after the Palestinian Authority police barred the group from holding events in the West Bank and threatened to arrest participants. The Palestinian Authority police, who exercise control in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, announced the ban over the weekend. A police spokesman, Col. Louai Irzeiqat, described activities organized by the rights group, Al Qaws, as “a blow to, and violation of, the ideals and values of Palestinian society.” Founded in 2001, Al Qaws is a grass-roots organization that advocates sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society, which is largely conservative and often repressive for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “Al Qaws condemns the use of prosecution, intimidation and threats of arrest, be it by the police or members of society,” the group said in a statement posted on social media.

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