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PCHR Calls upon Security Services in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to Stop Arrests on Political Grounds

Ref: 06/2020

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned over the ongoing arrests on political grounds targeting activists affiliated with Fatah movement in Gaza and others affiliated with Hamas movement in the West Bank.  PCHR reiterates its call upon the security services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to stop the practice of arbitrary arrest, immediately release all the political prisoners, and cease the policy of political arrests.

In the Gaza Strip, the Internal Security Service (ISS) arrested in the last few days 6 members of Fatah movement and PA Security officers without following the proper legal procedures.  PCHR documented the arrest of some of them by masked gunmen in plain clothes who did not identify themselves at the moment of arrest, or showed an arrest warrant issued by the Public Prosecution.  The arrestees were taken to the ISS offices and their families only knew their places days later after receiving unofficial calls informing them that their sons are held at the ISS offices.

In the West Bank, the security services continued to arrest persons affiliated with Hamas Movement across the cities.  PCHR documented the arrest of 20 persons during the last month, including university students, by the General Intelligence and Preventive Security Services.  Only last night, the Palestinian Intelligence officers arrested 6 persons from their houses in the villages of Tal in Nablus and al-Mughir in Ramallah in addition to Hebron.  Furthermore, 14 persons out of the total number of arrestees remain under arrest.

Thus, PCHR reiterates its condemnation of political arrests and:

  1. Calls for immediate release of all political prisoners arrested by the Palestinian security services in the West Bank and Gaza Strip;
  2. Emphasizes that arrests are regulated by the Palestinian Basic Law and lie only within the authority of law enforcement officers represented by the civil police who directly receives orders from the Attorney-General; and
  3. Reminds of the ruling of the Palestinian Supreme Court of Justice on 20 February 1999, which emphasizes the illegality of political arrest and that all executive authorities should respect the Court’s ruling and stop practicing the illegitimate political arrests.

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