Amnesty: PA Response to Nizar Banat Demonstrators ‘Violent Repression’

Palestinians rally to protest Nizar Banat’s assassination. (Photo: Mohammed Asad, via MEMO)

Recent violence by Palestinian government forces against demonstrators in the West Bank has constituted a “chilling campaign of repression”, according to Amnesty International.

The rights NGO slammed the use of “unlawful force” by the authorities in a press release on Wednesday. It said reporters, campaigners, and lawyers had been detained without justification, and that arrestees had suffered torture.

The group explained that anger has reached boiling point after prominent anti-government dissenter Nizar Banat died two weeks ago in Palestinian detention.

It said the authorities have used unnecessary strength against demonstrators, including this Monday, when they “violently” broke up those rallying at a Ramallah police station before making 15 or more arrests.

Saleh Higazi, Amnesty’s deputy MENA director explained: “Over the past two weeks, Palestinian authorities have launched a deliberate campaign of repression, clamping down on peaceful protesters and carrying out arbitrary arrests in an attempt to instil a climate of fear and crush dissent”.

Higazi called for Palestine’s long-time president, Mahmoud Abbas, to put a stop to the “chilling crackdown” and see to it that any officers who have perpetrated abuses are held responsible.

Last week, also in Ramallah, Palestinian reporters gathered by a United Nations building to urge freedom of the press in the wake of the authorities’ aggression at Nizar Banat demonstrations.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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