Ref: 41/2016

Palestinian Security officers killed Ahmed ‘Ezzat Halawah (50) in al-Jneid Prison after severely beating him to death. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses deep shock at this crime, considering it as a serious development from the security services in Nablus. PCHR also emphasizes that this crime reflects the state of security chaos and disrespect for law and humanity in an establishment that is supposed to protect civilians. PCHR also calls upon the Attorney General to seriously investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay.

According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 03:00 on Tuesday, 23 August 2016, a special unit of security services arrested Halawah after surrounding his house in New Nablus Neighborhood on grounds of being involved in the killing of two Palestinian security officers in Nablus few days ago. At approximately 04:00, this unit took Halawah to al-Jneid Prison in Nablus. According to Akram al-Rojoub, Governor of Nablus, when Halawah arrived at the prison, he argued with security officers, who then severely beat him to death despite attempts by other security officers to rescue him.

The security officers claimed that Halawah was behind the killing of the two security officers in Nablus who were trying to arrest wanted persons on 18 August 2016.  On 19 August 2016, the security services killed two civilians suspected of killing the two security officers during an armed clash.

PCHR closely follows up the serious escalation of the security chaos state in Nablus.  PCHR also emphasizes that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is responsible for the safety and health of prisoners in prisons and detention facilities.  Thus, the PA should in all cases protect and take care of them according to Correction and Rehabilitation Centers’ Law No. 6/1998.

PCHR stresses that what happened by the security officers constitutes a crime that cannot be justified in any case regardless of the motives or alleged crimes brought against the victim.

Additionally, PCHR emphasizes that security officers’ resort to revenge is unlawful and alarmist as it reflects a complete state of law denial, cruelty and inhumanity characterized by members of an establishment, whose role is to protect civilians and enforce the rule of law.

PCHR also highlights that the murder of Halawah foreshadows the deteriorating security situation in the PA, which thus requires everyone to fulfill its responsibilities.  PCHR, therefore, calls upon the Attorney General to open an investigation into the crime, declare the results in public and bring perpetrators to justice as soon as possible.

PCHR also calls upon the Prime Minster who also holds the position as the Minister of Interior to control the performance of the security services and guarantee they are submissive to the law.