Reference: 33/2010

 

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is deeply
concerned by measures taken by security services in the Gaza Strip against
number of members in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP);
such measures include the detention of individuals and arise consequent to a
press release distributed by the PFLP in Gaza, condemning the performance of
the government in Gaza. PCHR confirms
that the right to freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed under the Palestinian
Basic Law and relevant international conventions.

 

On 27 April 2010 the PFLP issued a press release condemning
the performance of the government and security services in the Gaza Strip. The press release was entitled "Let the Hamas
Government Stop Economic and Social Pressures Practiced Against our
People". The PFLP consider that the
practices of the government in Gaza – the latest of which involved the
imposition of taxes on different sector – aim at increasing the pressure and
burden on Palestinian civilians under an already strained economic and social situation. In its press release, the PFLP called upon the
Hamas movement and government "To stop these measures and alleviate the
suffering of civilians."

 

Later, the police and security services in Gaza detained
many PFLP’s members in Khan Yunis, Gaza and Jabalya.

 

According to PCHR’ documentation, on Tuesday, 27 April 2010,
the police detained 15 members of the PFLP, including 11 from al-Shati’ refugee
camp and four from Tal el-Hawa. The
detainees were transported to al-Shati’ and Ansar police stations, where they
were interrogated regarding the press release. During interrogation these
individuals were subjected to ill-treatment. PCHR was informed that the 11 members from al-Shati’ were released
yesterday, at 7:30, while the four others remain in detention.

 

In Jabalya refugee camp, yesterday, at 1:30, the police
detained two members of the PFLP: Abdullah Abu Z’eiter, 25, and Tal’at
el-Rafati, 34, while they were at the entrance of the market in the camp. They were interrogated regarding the source
of the press release. They were released after a few hours, following the
intervention of national figures.

 

On Wednesday morning, 28 April 2010, members of the police
and the Internal Security Service tried to break into the PFLP’s office located
in the center of Khan Yunis. They
attacked some members of the PFLP following verbal insults. According to the testimony of Mahmoud Abu
Ras, head of PFLP’s office in the eastern area of Khan Yunis, policemen and members
of the Internal Security Service tried to break into the office and detained a
PFLP member, Saleh el-Saiqlai, 24. They
had beaten his father, Ibrahim, 45,
a
leader in the PFLP, when he arrived at the scene. PCHR was informed of releasing el-Saiqali
later.

 

In light of the above, PCHR:

  1. Confirms that these measures
    taken by the security service in the Gaza Strip constitute a violation of
    the right to freedom of opinion and expression, which is guaranteed under
    the Palestinian Basic Law and relevant international conventions.
  2. Confirms on the right of political
    opposition to express political opinion, including criticizing the
    government, and opposing its policy through all forms ensured by the law,
    including press releases, peaceful demonstrations and all forms of
    peaceful protest.
  3. Calls upon the government in
    the Gaza Strip to investigate these measures taken against members of PFLP
    and to prevent their re-occurrence.