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PCHR Receives Director General of the Police

 Ref: 37/2020

Date: 16 August 2020

 

On Sunday, 16 August 2020, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) received Major General Mahmoud Salah, Director General of the Palestinian Police, and his associates at its main office in Gaza. The delegation met with PCHR Director, lawyer Raji Sourani and PCHR staff.

Starting off the meeting, Major General Salah stated the purpose of the visit was within the framework of enhancing cooperation with Palestinian human rights organizations and opening to civil society for the service of the citizenry and society in general, commending PCHR’s role nationally and internationally.

PCHR Director welcomed the delegation and expressed his appreciation for the grand efforts of the Police and parties involved in combating the corona virus, praising the measures put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic in the Gaza Strip.

Among the many issues that were discussed during the meeting was PCHR’s work on documenting war crimes committed by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians and suggestions for enhancing cooperation with the Explosives Police Department within the framework of building PCHR’s legal case files and prosecution of war criminals.

Both parties emphasized the importance of training members of the police force on human rights, including the women police, and building their capacity in addressing cases of gender-based-violence.

The limits set by the police on public meetings were also discussed, especially that the Public Meetings Law of 1998 is compliant with international standards and does not pose any limitations on meetings whether in the form of peaceful protests, sit-in, or others. PCHR demanded that these limitations be stopped and that the right to peaceful assembly is protected and respected.

Additionally, PCHR addressed the torture and abuse at police stations complaints received by the Centre and other human rights organizations and stressed the imperative to ban these practices in all cases and circumstances.

For his part, Major General Salah denied the existence of any policy that allows the practice of torture, even though there are practices of maltreatment and abuse; he promised to review the measures put in place regarding the right to peaceful assembly and asserted the principle of transparency within the police its openness to criticism and advice.