Ref: 04/2007

Date:  24 January 2007

Time: 13:00 GMT

Prisoner Detained by the Executive Force Dies in Suspect Circumstances

PCHR calls upon the PNA and the Attorney-General to investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Hisham Hammad, who was detained by the Executive Force in Rafah. The Centre calls for publicizing the research of the findings.

PCHR’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 05:30 on Wednesday, 24 January 2007, the body of Hisham Kamel Hammad, a 58-year old resident of Rafah, arrived at Mohammad Yousef El-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. The body was brought to the hospital by an ambulance from the Executive Force compound in Airport Street, near the Palestinian Security Forces Complex. The body was transferred to the pathology department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza to determine the cause of death.

The Executive Force confirmed that Hamad was detained at approximately 17:30 on Monday, 22 January 2007, as he was driving his car near Qishta Petrol Station in Barazil Quarter in Rafah. The detention was allegedly motivated by indecent acts by the detainee.

PCHR is concerned that the death of Hammad was caused by torture and ill-treatment during his detention. Sources in Abu Yousef El-Najjar Hospital indicate that there were signs of torture on the body. The Centre hold pictures of the body showing signs of severe beating and physical violence.

The Centre calls upon the PNA and Attorney-General to:

         Open an immediate investigation into the death of the suspect, and publish the results; and

         Ensure that all apprehensions and detention conditions are conducted in accordance with the law.