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Group: PA rejecting Gaza passport applications

Aug. 12, 2010 3:48 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 13, 2010 9:40 A.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority is depriving citizens in Gaza from obtaining passports, a rights group said Thursday.

The Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights wrote to Ramallah-based Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in June urging him to comply with Palestinian Basic Law and issue passports to all citizens without discrimination.

Since June, the center has issued further complaints on behalf of citizens denied passports, none of which have received responses from the PA, a statement said.

The complainants included cancer patient Ahmed Abu Fou'ad, Mohammed Subeh who needs an eye-transplant, and paramedic, Alaa' Sarhan, who needs surgery to remove shrapnel from his body as well as urinary surgery, Al Mezan said.

The Palestinian Human Rights NGOs Council has also written to Fayyad requesting he address these cases, but has not received any response, the report added.

Al Mezan called on the PA, and particularly the Interior Ministry, to respect citizens’ rights, noting that discriminating between citizens on the basis of their political affiliation or opinion constituted “flagrant violations to human rights and to the principle of the rule of law.”

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