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Home Press Releases Press Releases PCHR Condemns Attack by GIS Members on Staff of 'al-Haq' in Ramallah
PCHR Condemns Attack by GIS Members on Staff of 'al-Haq' in Ramallah PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 August 2010 12:00

Ref: 76/2010

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the attack launched on Wednesday, 25 August 2010, by members of the General Intelligence Service (GIS) on staff members of 'al-Haq' organization in Ramallah, while documenting GIS's attempts to stop an assembly organized by Palestinian political factions and civil society organizations in protest a decision by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to participate in direct negotiations with Israel.  PCHR calls upon the government in Ramallah to respect public freedoms and to ensure respect for the work of human rights organizations and to provide protection for their personnel.

 

According to statements made by 'al-Haq' and according to Wissam Ahmed, 33, Program Officer at al-Haq, on Wednesday afternoon, 25 August 2010, a number of al-Haq's staff members got out of their offices as they heard noise coming from the main street.  They had information that GIS members were attempting to stop the assembly of political and civil society organizations which was scheduled to be organized in the hall of the Protestant Church opposite to al-Haq offices. The assembly was supposed to discuss the positions towards direct negotiations between PNA and the government of Israel.  In the meanwhile, Wissam Ahmed, 33, Program Officer at al-Haq, took a video camera and went to the street to film the event, but he was beaten by a person in civilian clothes. Later, it was found out that this person was a GIS member.  The camera was taken from Ahmed and thrown onto the ground.  After Ahmed had managed to get his camera back, he asked why he was prevented from filming the event. In response, more than 10 GIS members surrounded him and beat him on the head and the neck.  They took his camera and pushed him away.

 

Mrs. Nina Ata Allah, Head of the Observation and Documentation Department at 'al-Haq', who intervened to stop the GIS attack on her colleague, was also attacked.  A GIS member stepped on her feet.  She was injured in the feet as a result and was transferred to the hospital of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Ramallah for treatment.  Sources from 'al-Haq' reported that Mr. Shaawan Jabarin, asked some police members who were in the scene about the camera.  One of them told him that it was with GIS members.

 

It should be noted that this attack on staff members of al-Haq is part of attacks launched by the Palestinian security services in Ramallah on a peaceful march which was organized with the participation of members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Secretaries General of a number of political parties, leaders of the civil society organizations as well as independent figures. Security forces prevented the participants in the march from organizing a press conference which was scheduled to be held in the hall of the Protestant Church.  A member of the Executive Committee of the PLO was arrested as well.

 

In view of the above, PCHR:

 

  1. Strongly condemns this attack by GIS members on staff members of al-Haq and the confiscation of their camera.
  2. Reiterates that it is important that the Palestinian security forces respect the work of human rights organizations and to ensure protection to their personnel in all circumstances.
  3. Points with concern to the recurrence of attacks on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to peaceful assembly.  PCHR stresses that these two rights are guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic Law and by international human rights instruments.

 

 

 



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