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Rights group condemns PA forces' violent dispersal of protest

June 22, 2014 9:17 P.M. (Updated: June 24, 2014 10:32 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on Sunday condemned the Palestinian Authority security forces' dispersal of a protest two days earlier.

Palestinians in Hebron on Friday had organized a protest in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners held in Israeli jails, but PA forces dispersed the protest violently, journalists and participants told Ma'an at the time.

The PCHR conducted an investigation into the incident, and said in a statement that "Palestinian security officers used force to disperse the demonstration and attacked the demonstrators, including women, with sticks and batons. As a result, many demonstrators sustained bruises."

"Of the wounded persons was Sa'diyah Khalil Ed'is (55), a mother of an administrative detainee, who was taken to al-Ahli Hospital for treatment after losing conscience due to being beaten up by the security officers," the statement said.

The rights group also noted that PA forces prevented journalists from covering the incident, as reporters told Ma'an at the time.

"Palestinian security officers attempted to prevent a number of journalists from covering the events near the mosque. They smashed a camera belonging to Kareem Sa'ed Khader, a photojournalist of CNN."

The statement also gave the names of three journalists who were prevented from covering the PA forces' dispersal of the peaceful demonstration: Eiad Nimer Maghribi of AP, Yousif Issa Shahi of Pal Media, and Hazem Bader of AFP.

The PCHR "calls upon the Attorney General to open a serious investigation into these attacks and bring the perpetrators before justice."

It urged "the security services to respect human rights that are guaranteed under domestic laws and international standards."
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