Sunday, Aug. 18
Latest News
  1. Palestinian goverment: 26 million in development of ministries
  2. Rudeineh: Washington us unable to achieve anything by itself
  3. US: “No plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of the West Bank"
  4. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  5. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  6. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  7. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  8. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  9. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  10. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp

PA urged to investigate torture allegations

Oct. 21, 2010 6:01 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 23, 2010 3:55 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority should promptly investigate the alleged torture of two detainees in a Jericho prison and ensure that officials responsible for the abuse are prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

These two cases are among more than 100 allegations of torture registered so far this year with the Independent Commission for Human Rights, the official Palestinian human rights ombudsman, against security services in the West Bank.

Members of the Preventive Security agency, which reports to the minister of interior, arrested Ahmad Salhab, a 42-year-old mechanic from Hebron, in September, and detained him until October, first in Hebron and then in Jericho. The same month, officials transferred him to a hospital in Hebron suffering from injury to previously torn spinal discs and severe mental distress, which he told Human Rights Watch resulted from torture in custody.

The second man, M.B., who asked that his name not be used, was arrested in September and held first in the Preventive Security detention facility in Hebron and then in Jericho, where, he said, he was tortured for 10 days. Both were accused of having ties to Hamas. The human rights commission said that Salhab's and M.B.'s are the first cases of alleged torture in the Jericho prison.

"The reports of torture by Palestinian security services keep rolling in," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad are well aware of the situation. They need to reverse this rampant impunity and make sure that those responsible are prosecuted."

On 31 August, Hamas's armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for an attack that killed four Israeli settlers in the Hebron area. The Palestinian Authority subsequently detained hundreds of people around Hebron who were suspected of Hamas ties.

Both Salhab and the other man were detained arbitrarily. Although Palestinian law requires that officials carrying out arrests present a warrant, arresting officials did not show a warrant either to Salhab or to the other man, M.B., the men told Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch said that the PA has been extremely lax in prosecuting security officials for torture and ill-treatment of detainees. In the only known prosecution, a Palestinian military court in July acquitted five General Intelligence Service officers from Hebron who allegedly tortured Haitham Amr to death in June 2009.

Palestinian detainees registered 106 complaints of torture with the human rights commission from January through September 2010. Since June 2007, according to the commission, PA security services have allegedly been responsible for the deaths in custody of eight detainees in the West Bank.

Hamas: PA increasing torture in Jericho prison

Hamas accused PA security forces of arresting eight party members in the West Bank overnight Wednesday.

In a statement, Hamas said the PA was continuing its arrest campaign against Hamas affiliates, adding that the latest detentions occurred in Ramallah, Hebron and Tulkarem.

The Islamist movement said PA forces arrested over a thousand supporters in the West Bank in September.

"It’s clear that the arrest campaign being waged by the Palestinian Authority did not exclude anyone and did take into consideration the circumstances and titles of the people being arrested, whether they were former detainees from Israeli jails, university professors, teachers, or members of city councils and other categories," an earlier statement said.

On Saturday, Hamas accused the PA of referring 40 party supporters from the northern Nablus district to military courts, which it said delayed hearings until next month. The party further said the use of torture against Hamas affiliates in Jericho prison had intensified and that the PA continued to bar detainees in Hebron from family visits.

Security is the final issue stalling Hamas' ratification of an Egyptian-mediated unity paper to reconcile with rival faction Fatah. Hamas has frequently condemned the arrest of Hamas members by PA security forces, and accused the PA of security collaboration with Israel following the recent assassinations of three Hamas leaders by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

Egypt has been mediating a reconciliation deal between the two movements since 2007, shortly after Abbas dissolved the newly formed coalition government when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip the same year.

Fatah ratified the deal in October 2009, but Hamas has said that it had several amendments it wanted to discuss before signing it, including restructuring the PLO and the future of the respective security forces.
Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015