Ref: 123/2012


The Palestinian
Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Palestinian female
police’s violent dispersal of a women’s sit-in in front of the headquarters of the
Palestinian Preventive Security Service (PPS) in Hebron. PCHR also condemns the
detentionof8 civiliansparticipatingyesterday in a peaceful sit-in organized by
female activistsby security services in Gaza; PCHR further condemns the
assaulting of some of these civilians.  PCHR calls upon the public prosecutors in
Ramallah and Gaza to open serious investigations into these attacks and bring
the perpetratorsto justice.


According to investigations conducted by PCHR,
at approximately 15:00 on Tuesday, 13 November 2012, about 20 women and children
from al-Sherbaty family, accompanied by journalist Lama Abdul-Motaleb Khater,
gathered in front of the PPS headquarters in Hebron to protest the continued
detention of Ra’ed Hmaydan al-Sharbaty (43), from Hebron, by the PSS, pursuant
to a court order. At approximately 20:00, members of the Palestinian female
police came out of the headquarters dressed in civilian clothes and attacked
the participating women and children,kicking and slapping themin order to
disperse the crowd.  As a result of this
attack, Obaida Ra’ed al-Sharbaty (4) and Toqa Hesham al-Sharbaty (12) sustained
bruises and scratches, and were transported to the Hebron Public Hospital for
treatment.Journalists Lama Khater and Basha’er Hisham al-Sherbaty were beaten
as well.


It should be mentioned that the PSS had arrested
al-Sherbaty on 08 November 2012, and he has been on hunger strike since then.
He was transported to the Hebron Public Hospital on Tuesday, 12 November 2012, after
his health conditions had deteriorated due to his hunger strike.


In the same context, at approximately 12:30 on
Tuesday, 13 November 2012, dozens of female activists organized a peaceful
sit-in in the Unknown Soldier Square, near the Palestinian Legislative Council
(PLC) in the western part of Gaza City, calling for an end to the Palestinian
division.After the sit-in ended, police officers, who were heavily deployed in
the area, detained 8 male civilians who were present in the area to support the
participants’ demands. The detained civilians, who were beaten by security
officers, were identified as: Mahmoud Khalaf, member of the Central Committee
of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP); Khaled
Abu-Sharekh; Saif-Edin Shaheen; Mohammad Waqfa; Ayman Karzim; Soultan Shobair;
Talal Abu-Zarifa; and Nabil Diab, a leader of the National Initiative. The
police released these individuals later the same day.


In his testimony to a PCHR fieldworker, Mahmoud
Mohammad Khalaf, one of the released detainees, said:


At approximately 12:00, I went to the
Unknown Soldier Square to participate in the weekly sit-in organized by the
General Union of Palestinian Women and women’s NGOs. A large number of police
officers were present in the Square, banning people from reaching the sit-in. I
managed to reach the sit-in through the northern entrance and participated in
the activity. While I was leaving the square, after the sit-in ended, I was
intercepted by members of the police investigation bureau,who asked me to
accompany them.When I refused to go with them, they forcefully led me to the
al-Jawazat police station, where I was beaten, along with 4 other detainees.A half
an hour later, I was released following an intervention by leaders of the DFLP.


PCHR condemns the continued violations of the
right to peaceful assembly, and:


1- Calls upon both governments in Gaza and Ramallah to
take necessary measures to stop violations of public liberties, and to respect
the right to hold public meetings and the right to freedom of opinion and
expression, ensured under the Palestinian Basic Law and international human
rights standards;

2- Emphasizes that the right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed underArticle
(26-5) of the Palestinian Basic Law and Law No. 12/1998 on Public Meetings; and

3- Calls upon the Public Prosecution to open serious investigations
into these attacks and bring the perpetratorsto justice.