Dr. Iyad Saraj Arrested For Third Time
DR. IYAD SARAJ
ARRESTED FOR THIRD TIME
Published @ 07:00 hours GMT/10 June 1996
Dr Iyad Saraj, a leading human rights activist in the Gaza Strip was arrested early this morning by the Palestinian Police and continues to be held, it seems, without charge. No official reason has been given for his detention and it remains unclear when he will be released.
Yesterday, Sunday 9 June 1996 at 23:50 hours local time (20:50 hours GMT) plain-clothes police officers went to the home of Dr Iyad Saraj in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. The police officers requested that he accompany them to the police station. Dr Saraj asked to see the warrant for his arrest. It appears that no warrant had been issued and so the police left without him.
Ten minutes later, around midnight, the police returned with a hand-written warrant, signed by the Attorney-General, Khalid al Kidrah. This time Dr Saraj accompanied the police to Rimal Police Headquarters in Gaza City.
No official accusation or charge has been made against Dr Saraj, and it is unclear whether a charge will be made against him.
Dr Iyad Saraj is based in the Gaza Strip and is the Head of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and the Commissioner-General of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights. This is the third time Dr Saraj has been arrested by the Palestinian Authority; the first time was on 7 December 1995, when he was held for some eight hours in similar circumstances; he was arrested again on Saturday 18 May 1996 when he was detained for over a week after an interview he gave to the New York Times in which he criticised the Palestinian Authority. Dr Saraj was released on bail on 26 May 1996 and the accusations against him remain outstanding.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights is trying to obtain further information on Dr. Saraj’s detention, and is attempting to secure his release.