Field Update


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
is gravely concerned that unknown persons, claiming to be members of the
Palestinian police general investigation department, seized a car belonging to
the al-Sarraj’s family from inside the house of Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj, Chairman of
Gaza Community Mental Health Program, in the west of Gaza City on Monday, 04
July 2011. PCHR calls upon the Attorney
General to investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice. 


According to investigations conducted by PCHR,
and the testimony of Maher Adas, the guard at Dr. al-Sarraj’s house, at
approximately 19:30 on Sunday, 03 July 2011, two people arrived at Dr.
al-Sarraj’s house – one in a police uniform and the other in a military uniform
both claiming to be from these respective units. They showed an identity card, whose validity
was not possible to verify. They then
told Ms. Nirmeen al-Sarraj, Dr. al-Sarraj’s wife, that they would confiscate a
BMW car parked in the homes’ car park, claiming that it was a stolen
governmental car. The guard attempted to
phone Dr. al-Sarraj, who was not at home, but his mobile phone was confiscated
by the men. They then ordered him to
hand over the car key, but he refused. They forcibly took it. They also
threatened the guard with legal action if he continued to obstruct the police’s
work.  Before leaving the house they told
Dr. al-Sarraj’s wife and the guard that they would return the following day to
confiscate the car. At approximately
19:30 on the following day, two persons wearing civilian clothes, one of whom
was carrying a pistol, came to Dr. al-Sarraj’s house. They told the guard that they were members of
the police general investigation department. They pushed the guard and broke into the house. They seized the car from the park and drove
it away. 


PCHR learned that the Palestinian police has
denied any connection to the confiscation of the car. Dr. al-Sarraj stated that the chief of the
police general investigation department in Gaza City opened an investigation
into the incident, and that police officers came to the house, took the guard’s
testimony and inspected the property.


PCHR strongly condemns the disguise of unknown
persons as law enforcement officials, and calls upon the Attorney General to
investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.