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PCHR: Hamas detaining Fatah affiliates in Gaza

Dec. 28, 2011 6:34 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 29, 2011 5:52 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas security forces in Gaza summoned dozens of Fatah members in December despite ongoing reconciliation talks between the parties' leaders, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said Wednesday.

On Monday and Tuesday, some 50 Fatah affiliates were summoned for interrogation and questioned about their participation in ceremonies to celebrate the release of prisoners from Israeli jails, PCHR said in a statement.

Fatah activists told PCHR they have been repeatedly summoned and detained by the Internal Security Service of the Hamas-run government and questioned about their political activities and connections to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank,

PCHR said the "campaign of summons and arrests" targeted Fatah's former security officers in the Gaza Strip, some of whom reported being subject to torture.

One detainee told PCHR his interrogators placed a plastic bag over his head, adding that he was not allowed to sleep for 12 consecutive days.

Hamas and Fatah leaders agreed in Cairo in December to release all political detainees as part of a reconciliation agreement to end the rivalry between the parties, which lead separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza.

Nablus billionaire and political independent Munib al-Masri, who has helped to mediate the reconciliation, said Saturday that political prisoners would be released by the end of this month.

PCHR called for the immediate release of all political prisoners from jails in the West Bank and Gaza.
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