Amnesty Condemns PA’s ‘Dark Underbelly of Violence, Dysfunction’

A Palestinian protester carrying a placard that reads: "From Gaza, to Jerusalem: Remove the sanctions.' (Photo: via Twitter)

 By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Amnesty International condemned the Palestinian Authority’s arbitrary detention and beating of scores of demonstrators and bystanders, including Amnesty’s own staff member, Laith Abu Zeyad.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s MENA Research and Advocacy Director said in a statement:

“The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank revealed a dark underbelly of violence and dysfunction yesterday, when its security forces launched a vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters demonstrating against sanctions on Gaza. Palestinian security officers, many in civilian clothes, assaulted and arrested dozens of demonstrators and bystanders and beat them while in custody, including Amnesty International campaigner Laith Abu Zayed, who was there to monitor the protest.”

Mariam Barghouti, a Ramallah citizen, tweeted:

Amnesty’s statement added:

“Laith Abu Zayed spent several hours in police custody where he was severely beaten. Upon his release, he recalled seeing 18 other fellow detainees receive the same treatment. His plight is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mass show of excessive force and torture unleashed by the Palestinian security forces last night. We demand a full, independent investigation into these violations, and call for all those responsible to be held to account.”

The PA’s security forces were accused of thuggery. 

“The State of Palestine is a party to the main international human rights treaties, so the authorities have obligations under international law to uphold human rights, including the rights to security of person, to freedom of expression and assembly, and a duty to investigate and remedy violations. The international community must demand that Palestinian authorities respect these rights and bring perpetrators to justice. They should urgently review security cooperation and assistance to the Palestinian security forces to ensure they are not facilitating human rights violations.”

Palestinians in Ramallah started protesting against the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday over sanctions imposed on the besieged Gaza Strip by Israel and the PA. 

Over 1,500 people demonstrated downtown Ramallah after artists, journalists and activists issued a call to protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, where so far over 130 have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli snipers since the Great March of Return began on March 30.

(PC, Social Media)

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