Ref: 96/2010

 

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns
campaigns of arbitrary arrests waged by Palestinian security services against
members and supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and subjecting the detainees
to cruel treatment, in violation of the law. PCHR points out that, in spite of releasing a number of detainees recently,
Palestinian security services have continued to wage arrest campaigns targeting
dozens of members and supporters of Hamas, and have continued to detain
hundreds of others for several months. Dozens of persons have been also summoned by security services. PCHR is concerned over increasing allegations
by released detainees or relatives of detained persons that those detainees
were subjected to torture and cruel treatment. PCHR reiterates its call for the Palestinian National Authority (PNA)
and security services to stop arbitrary arrests, and to release all political
prisoner, thus, putting and end to the issue of political arrests. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, and
information obtained from offices of members of the Palestinian Legislative
Council (PLC) from the Change and Reform Bloc affiliated to Hamas in the West
Bank, at least 230 persons have been detained in Hebron, including 130 ones who
have been detained by the Preventive Security Service (PSS) and the remaining
100 ones have been detained by the General Intelligence Service (GIS). In Bethlehem, 25 persons have been detained
by the PSS and 15 ones have been detained by the GIS. In Nablus, 77 persons have been detained in
Jnaid Prison. In Ramallah and al-Bireh,
45 persons have been detained by security services. The detainees include released prisoners from
Israeli jails and relatives of PLC members. Dozens of detainees were arrested a few days following their
release. Although, a number of families
were able to visit the detainees, some detainees have been denied access to
family visitation and legal counsel, especially those who are detained by the
GIS in Hebron.

 

Torture

 

A number of released prisoners in Hebron, for instance,
claimed that they were moved among interrogation rooms and cells that lack
bathrooms, and some of them does not have lights and blankets. 

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, and
testimonies of a number of released prisoners, many of those who have been
arrested recently, have been held under inappropriate, and even severe and
inhuman, detention conditions, especially those who suffer from chronic
diseases or injuries. Many detainees
were subjected to various forms of cruel and degrading treatment, and others
were subjected to torture. The health
conditions of at least 3 detainees deteriorated, and there were taken to
hospitals. 

 

One of the released prisoners in Hebron told a PCHR field
worker that GIS officer held him under cruel detention conditions. Although he was sick and was badly in need
for medical care, security officers subjected him to forms of torture, which
caused further deterioration to his health conditions. Consequently, he was taken to hospitals three
times. In the last medical checking in a
hospital on 14 September 2010, doctors insisted on continuing to treat him in
the hospital, so he was placed under security escort. Following releasing him from the hospital,
doctors recommended providing him with necessary home treatment, as he was
suffering from various health problems. However, security officers continued to detain him until 16 September
2010. 

 

In his testimony to PCHR, the aforementioned released
detainee stated that during his detention "he could hear voices of
detainees crying of pain as a result of being beaten and tortures." He also saw a number of detainees being
forced to stand with their hands up and their heads covered by plastic
sacs. He pointed out that the
interrogators deliberates exposed him to voices of detainees being tortured to
force him to cooperate with them in investigations. He further indicated that he saw a number of
detainees being subjected to prolonged Shabeh[1]
and beating, including ‘Alaa’ al-Ja’ba, Mo’tasse, al-Natsha, ‘Abdulla Du’ais,
Mohammed al-Atrash and Mohammed Abu Hadid. He further said that he head a GIS officer talking with an interrogation
officer from outside Hebron, explaining to him the importance of an iron door
in the place in extracting confessions from detainees. The door is used to press on the hands and
feet of a detainees, causing severe pains. 

 

Disrespect for Legal Procedures

 

Families of a number of detainees whose house were raided to
arrest them stressed that Palestinian security forced acted provocatively and
did not legal procedures in searching houses and arresting individuals. In this context, an individual claimed that
security forces raided his house when no one was there. They used force to open the door and searched
the house. He further indicated that
when he and his family came back home, the GIS and PSS arrested him and 4 of
his sons sporadically. He asserted that
3 of his sons and a number of his nephews are still detained by the GIS and
PSS. He further stated that GIS and
police officers raided his house more than once, and female police officers
questioned his wife. 

 

A released detainees stated that he was arrested together
with his bother, because his cousin was wanted by Palestinian security
forces. He had been detained for 16
days, during which time he was not questioned until the last two hours. Upon his release tighter with other
detainees, he was force to sign an oath "not to possess unlicensed
weapons, not to act against the PNA, and not to affiliate to any organization
opposing the PNA." He further
stated that due to congestion, dozens of detainees, including him, were
transported to a police station in Taffouh village, west of Hebron, where they
were detained under inhuman conditions.

 

In a new development, in the beginning of this month, the
PSS in Hebron transferred a number of detainees to detention centers in Jericho
and Ramallah, due to congestion. Those
detainees include: Ahmed Salhab; Eyad Mujahed; Nafez Bali; Nidal al-Qawasmi;
Ma’ath Abu Juhaisha; and Mahmoud Abu Juhaisha. 

 

Arrests in Areas "C"[2]

 

 A number of persons
were subjected to arrest attempts in Areas C. In this context, ‘Abdul Raziq Rajabi, the father of a detainee, stated
that a PSS force, whose members were wearing civilian clothes, attempted on
Thursday, 23 September 2010, to kidnap his on, 24-year-old Amjad. Members of the force did not identify
themselves. People intervened and foiled
the attempt. However, Amajd was summoned
and arrested later by the PSS.

Summoning Dozens of Islamic Jihad Members

 

Palestinian security services in the West Bank, especially
in Jenin and Tulkarm, have summoned dozens of members and supporters of Islamic
Jihad, and forced them to fill a form that includes detailed information about
them. They were also forced to sign an
oath "not to violate the Palestinian law, not to oppose the PNA’s public
policy and not to engage in any activity of Islamic Jihad."

 

An Islamic Jihad activist stated that 4 members of Islamic
Jihad from ‘Arraba village, southwest of Jenin, were arrested. One of them, Sheikh Khader Mousa, 32, was
released on 29 September 2010. The other
detainees are: Ahmed Shibani, 39; Mohammed Shibani, 35; and Ahmed al-Bousta,
35. 

 

PCHR reiterates its
condemnation of political arrests and of the accompanying torture crimes
committed against detainees, and:

 

1. Reminds of the
Palestinian Higher Court ruling of 20 February 1999 that provides for the
illegality of political arrests. All the executive authorities must
respect this court ruling and abstain from carrying out illegal political
arrests;

2. Stresses that
arrests are regulated by the Palestinian law and fall under the jurisdiction of
the law enforcement officers, including the civil police, who are directly
supervised by the Attorney General;

3. Calls for immediately stopping the practice of torture in prisons
and detention centers of the Palestinian Authority, given that that torture
crimes remain punishable all the time and the perpetrators cannot escape
justice; and

4. Demands the
immediate release of political prisoners who are detained by the security services
in the West Bank.

    



[1] The Shabeh
combination: Shabeh is the combination of methods, used for prolonged periods,
entailing sensory isolation, sleep deprivation, and infliction of pain.

[2] Under full
Israeli security control under the Oslo Accords.