Ministers Reject Human Rights Bills

The ministerial committee on legislation has declined to support a set of bills to mark Human Rights Day, which the Knesset will observe tomorrow.

"The cabinet has shown yet again that it has no interest in human rights. It refrains from promoting bills to protect human rights and objects to bills initiated by MKs," said MK Dov Khenin (Hadash), chairman of the Knesset's human rights lobby.

Six of Khenin's proposals, pertaining to the rights of suspects and defendants, were among the rejected bills. "As far as the cabinet is concerned, Human Rights Day in the Knesset is a day of empty talk," he said. "In the absence of legislation there is no meaning to marking theme days in the Knesset."

Two weeks ago the committee rejected bills intended to aid the disabled.

It suggested, as it did this week, to turn the bills into motions for the agenda, a move seen as showing contempt for the Knesset.

Committee chairman Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann said "the committee discusses dozens of bills that are submitted to the Knesset every week. It's hard to debate bills when they exceed the quota. Turning bills into motions for the agenda will enable a broad Knesset debate on them."