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PCHR Calls for End of Arrests on Political Grounds in Gaza Strip and West Bank

Ref: 104/2018

The Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR) follows up with deep concern the ongoing arrests and summonses of Fatah Movement activists in Gaza and Hamas activities in the West Bank on political grounds. PCHR reiterates its call upon the Palestinian Authority and Security Services to stop the arbitrary arrests, immediately release all arrestees on political grounds, and end completely the arrests on political grounds.

In the Gaza Strip and during the past days, the Internal Security Service (ISS) launched a summons campaign against dozens of leaders and members in Fatah Movement and Fatah Youth Organization throughout the Gaza Strip via phone calls or summonses sent to refer to the ISS office; each one in his area. Among those summoned were members of the Revolutionary Council, Secretaries and members of counties and areas in addition to other activists and Members of Fatah’s Student Youth Organization. In general, those activists were interrogated, threatened and warned of holding any activities in support of President Mahmoud ‘Abbas while delivering his speech before the United Nations on 27 September 2018.

In the west Bank during the past 2 days, the security services launched an arrest campaign against dozens of Hamas Movement supporters throughout the West Bank. The arrests targeted dozens of activists and members, including former prisoners, public figures, Mosques Imams and university students. Some of those activists were arrested from their houses after searching them while the others were arrested either from their stores or while being on the street. Most of them are so far under arrest.

PCHR reiterates its condemnation of the political arrests and:

1. Reminds of the ruling of the Palestinian Supreme Court of Justice on 20 February 1999, which emphasized the illegality of political arrest and that all executive authorities should respect the Court’s ruling and stop practicing the illegitimate political arrests;
2. Emphasizes that arrests are governed by the Palestinian law and lies only within the competence of judicial warranty officers represented in the civil police whose work lies under direct orders and supervision of the Attorney-General; and
3. Calls for immediate release of all those arrested on political grounds by the Palestinian security services in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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