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Dr. Iyad Saraj, Commissioner-General Of The Palestinian Independent Commission For Citizens’ Rights Released On Bail

 

URGENT COMMUNIQUE

DR. IYAD SARAJ, COMMISSIONER-GENERAL OF THE PALESTINIAN

INDEPENDENT COMMISSION FOR CITIZENS’ RIGHTS

RELEASED ON BAIL

Published @ 06:00 hours GMT/27 May 1996

Dr. Iyad Saraj was released on bail at around 24.00 hours local time (21.00 hours GMT) on 26 May 1996, after being detained for eight days. He was arrested on Saturday 18 May 1996 at 15:00 hours local time (12:00 hours GMT).

Dr. Iyad Saraj was released on bail, pending charges which could be made against him. The accusation appears to be one of slanderfor which he may subsequently be tried before the State Security Court for a penal offence under British Mandate Law of 1936; this could mean up to three years imprisonment.

For the first three days of his detention Dr. Saraj was held without charge. On Tuesday 21 May he was taken before the State Security Court where his detention was extended by a further 15 days. Dr. Saraj was denied access to his lawyer, Raji Sourani, throughout the hearing.

Dr. Iyad Saraj is the Head of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme and the Human Rights Commissioner of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights. This is the second time Dr. Saraj has been arrested by the Palestinian Authority; the first time was on 7 December 1995, when he was held for eight hours.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls upon the Palestinian Authority to respect the freedom of expression and the activities of human rights defenders and to desist from all activities which undermine their work in protecting human rights.

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