Ref: 30/2011


The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
condemns the murder of actor and director Juliano Mer-Khamis, Director of al-Hurriya
Theater, in Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West Bank by unknown gunman
yesterday.  PCHR calls upon the
government in Ramallah to seriously investigate this incident and bring the
perpetrator(s) to justice.


According to investigations conducted by PCHR
and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 16:00 on Monday, 04 April 2011, a veiled person
carrying a pistol stopped Juliano Mer-Khamis, 53, near al-Hurriya Theater in
Jenin refugee camp as he was driving his red Citroen car with his 9-month-old
baby and Raeda Yahya Sweilam, 34, the babysitter of Mer-Khamis’s baby.
Mer-Khamis is a Palestinian belonging to the Palestinian community inside the
Green Line.  He held the Israeli
nationality and used to live in Jenin refugee camp in the north of the West
Bank. Unknown gunman opened fire at Mer-Khamis from a very close range.
Mer-Khamis was hit by five bullets to the chest and he died instantly. Sweilam
also sustained wounds by a bullet to the arm. The gunman managed to escape in
the alleys of Jenin refugee camp.


It should be noted that Juliano is the son of
great Palestinian struggler Saliba Mer-Khamis. He was living in Nazareth.  His mother who is a defender of Palestinian
human rights founded al-Hajar Theater in Jenin refugee camp in 1987, which was
destroyed by the Israeli occupation forces in 2002 during their incursion in
Jenin. In 2006, Juliano founded al-Hurriya Theater in Jenin refugee camp and he
served as the director of the theater until his death yesterday.


PCHR strongly condemns this crime which is part
of the security chaos and misuse of weapons plaguing the occupied Palestinian
territory, and calls upon the Palestinian government in Ramallah to open a serious
investigation into this incident to reveal the circumstances and to bring the perpetrators
to justice.