Israel court freezes deportation order against rights worker

Human Rights Watch says an Israeli court has frozen an expulsion order against its local director, allowing him to remain in the country while he fights the planned deportation.

Israel this month ordered Omar Shakir to leave the country, claiming he supports boycotts of Israel. The group says that neither it nor Shakir, a U.S. citizen, support boycotts and accuses the government of trying to stifle criticism of its human rights record.

Shakir had been given until midnight on Thursday to leave, even though he has filed an appeal to overturn the deportation.

In its decision Wednesday, a Jerusalem court ordered the Interior Ministry to allow him to remain in Israel for the duration of the legal proceedings.