- H. (19), from al-Daraj neighborhood, east of Gaza city, jumped off 4th floor of the Gaza Prosecution while interrogating him on a crime he was accused of and was dead on arrival. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses deep sorrow for this incident and calls upon the Attorney General and decision makers in Gaza to identify facts, hold those responsible accountable, work on improving the arrest circumstances, and guarantee that those accused persons be treated according to the law.
According to the statement of the victim’s father to PCHR’s field worker,
“At approximately 12:00 on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, I received a phone call from the neighbors telling me that my son died. My brother then called me to tell me that there is news spread on the websites about my son’s death. When I headed to see the body, I found a bruise on my son’s left eye and beating signs on his feet and throughout his body. After that, I went to the office of the Attorney General and demanded not to bury my son until I know the circumstances of his death. I told them that my son would never commit suicide. The Attorney General advised me to bury my son. My son was buried, but the Attorney General assured me that he will open an investigation into the incident and will not tolerate any person involved.”
On the other hand, the Public Prosecution in Gaza issued a statement explaining that “the accused overtook the officers, attempting to escape, and jumped out of the investigation room’s window in the 4th floor in the Gaza Prosecution building. As a result, he sustained serious wounds and was then transferred to the hospital to be announced dead. The Public Prosecution expresses its sorrow for the incident and confirms opening a comprehensive investigation into the incident circumstances.
On 17 September 2017, KH. H. was detained in al-‘Abbas police station, after accusing him of stealing. He was brought before the Gaza Prosecution on the next day morning in its head office on al-Shifa Street near al-Shifa building in the center of Gaza City. PCHR is surprised with the Attorney General’s request to bury the body and not conducting autopsy, though he announced opening an investigation and that there are strong suspicions the detainee was subjected to torture according to the victim’s father.
It should be noted that this is not the first incident of its kind as detainee M. A. (26) jumped off the same prosecution building on 26 June 2016 and sustained serious wounds. It is also noteworthy that that M.S. (16) committed suicide in Beit Lahia detention center using his undershirt on 02 September 2017 and is so far in clinical death according to the police.
This incident and the previous ones require the Attorney General and officials in the Gaza Strip take serious action and reveal the facts, particularly the arrest circumstances and torture cases. The human rights organizations annually receive many complaints of torture, which are only a small part of the torture reality in the investigation centers.
PCHR confirms that the Public Prosecution and the detention facilities are responsible for the life and safety of the arrestees. Thus, PCHR calls upon the Attorney General to open a serious investigation into the incident and publish the results on public. PCHR also stresses to take in consideration the tort liability of the Public Prosecution as although it is not the first incident of its kind, no precautionary measures were taken.
PCHR calls upon the Attorney General and decision makers in the Gaza Strip to take serious action to end the deteriorating status of the detention and investigation facilities, seriously work to stop using torture in the prisons and comply with the Palestinian Basic law and Palestine’s International obligations, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) under which Article 10 stipulates that:” All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”