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PCHR Condemns Palestinian Police Raid on Bar Association in Gaza

 

Ref: 20/2016

 

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the raid carried out by the Palestinian Police accompanying the Financial and Administrative Monitoring Authority on the head office of the Palestinian Bar Association in Gaza City and their attempt to confiscate PC sets today morning, 16 March 2016.

This raid came as a result of the controversy about the Bar Association not submitting lawyers’ financial and administrative records to the abovementioned Authority, in addition to complaints filed by some lawyers to the Authority against the Bar Association.

Following the raid, the Bar Association called for suspending work in all courts and institutions and asked lawyers to head to the Bar Association’s office.

It should be noted that the required records were reviewed and then approved by the Bar Association’s General Assembly in Gaza.

PCHR stresses that in case a single complaint was filed against the Bar Association concerning issues that were approved by the General Assembly, the complaint should be handled in due process.

Moreover, PCHR believes that according to the principle of transparency and integrity, there is no harm if the Bar Association publishes its financial and administrative reports in public.

PCHR is gravely concerned and shocked over the police raid on the Bar Association in violation of the law, especially as the Bar Association enjoys a prestigious and independent status that aims at applying the rule of law and regulating lawyering. PCHR considers that the raid underestimated lawyers, who enjoy a legal immunity according to the law, and requires an official apology to the Bar Association and lawyers. Moreover, PCHR calls upon the competent authorities to exhaust the necessary legal means in case they received any complaint against the Bar Association, especially as the General Assembly has competence whether to approve or disprove the administrative and financial reports, which is clearly stipulated in the law.

 

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