Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has said that the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security service’s attacks against journalists and activists following the killing of activist Nizar Banat amount to a systematic crime. The security services’ crimes are committed with total impunity, though PA itself bears direct responsibility for them.
Over the past two days, the AOHR UK declares, PA forces have used excessive and unjustified force against the popular demonstrations against the killing of activist Nizar Banat, following his arrest, beating, and torture last Thursday (24th).
The police used rubber bullets, batons, and tear gas to disperse demonstrations in Ramallah over the weekend, at the al-Manara and al-Sa’a roundabouts. Women journalists covering the demonstrations – including those clearly part of media teams – were beaten with batons, and their equipment broken.
Amongst those women was freelance journalist Shada Hammad; ‘Quds Network’ correspondent, Najlaa Zaitoun; ‘Ultra Palestine’ and ‘Palestine Post’ correspondent, Saja al-Alami; and ‘Watan’ correspondent Fayhaa Khanfar, who was left unconscious due to blows to her head, back, shoulder and pelvis, and after taken to hospital.
Such activities by the PA’s security services massively increased following the occupying force’s aggression against the Gaza Strip. PA forces have arrested dozens of Palestinians and stormed numerous activists’ homes (stealing money and confiscating electronic devices), often for nothing more than social media posts.
AOHR UK has emphasised that the PA’s security services’ crimes, particularly the murder of activist Nizar Banat, must not go unpunished. Palestinian citizens are suffering systematic violations, by both the Israeli occupation and the PA’s security services.
THE AOHR UK calls on the international community and those countries supporting the PA to halt its unconditional cooperation with it and to cease supporting the further oppression of the Palestinian people and the dereliction of their rights.