PCHR Calls for Opening Serious Investigation into Killing of Person by Police in Qalqilya during Police Mission
On 16 April 2019, Mohammad Ratib Bari (35) succumbed to his wounds, which he sustained on 15 April 2019 after he was shot by the Palestinian police, who raided his house in Sanniriya village in Qalqilya, north of the West bank, in an attempt to arrest him on criminal grounds. The police spokesperson said that Mohammad was wounded while he was attempting to take an officer’s weapon forcibly. Meanwhile, surveillance footage showed that two police officers shot Mohammad while he was trying to escape. Thus, a serious investigation should be opened and results later published to public in addition to take the necessary legal proceedings. Moreover, strict restrictions should be issued relevant to the compliance with shooting standards, which oblige police officers to use their weapons only to defend themselves or the others in case of imminent danger.
According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately 22:00, on Monday, 15 April 2019, a force of Anti-narcotics Department, which belongs to Qalqilya Police, and backed by a police force from Kafr Thulth village raided Sanniriya village in Qalqilya. While the police force was trying to capture Mohammad Ratib Bari (35), he escaped towards the street and then a police officer opened fire at him. A footage captured by a camera of a store on the village’s street and later published on social media showed Mohammad escaping from two Palestinian police officers dressed in plain clothes, falling on the ground and holding his right thigh. Later, the footage also showed a police officer taking him to a police car, which was close to the scene. Mohammad was then taken to Darwish Nazzal Hospital in Qalqilya to receive treatment. Doctors said that he was clinically dead upon his arrival at the hospital and then admitted to the intensive care unit as a bullet penetrated the main artery near the pelvis, resulting in a severe bleeding. Mohammad was later transferred to Istishari Arab Hospital in Ramallah, where he was declared dead on the next day.
Afterwards, a large number of Sanniriya village residents gathered at the entrance to the village and burned tires to express their outrage at the killing of Mohammed. Later, the Palestinian police announced forming a committee to investigate the circumstances of the incident.
In response to the incident, the police spokesperson Col. Lu’ay Arzieqat said on his Facebook page that “during an anti-narcotics police mission to search for drugs in one of the houses in the village, and with the back-up by the Kafr Thulth police station, one of those suspected of possessing and dealing with drugs attempted to take forcibly the weapon of a police officer. Thus, the suspect was shot with several bullets and then taken to the hospital for treatment. Doctors announced his death later in the afternoon.”
PCHR is strongly concerned over the recurrence of such incidents and so calls for seriously investigating and publishing the investigation results to public in addition to taking the necessary legal proceedings. PCHR also emphasizes the authority’s right to apply law and prosecute the outlaws but in the same time the security services should comply with the opening fire standards, which oblige the security officers to use weapons only when defending themselves or others from an imminent danger according to the proportionality rules codified by the international standards.