Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to open an urgent investigation into the torture of the political detainee Mahdi Abu Awad during his interrogation before the Jericho Prosecution. Abu Awad confirmed being brutally tortured and beaten inside his detention facility.
Abu Awad was arrested from his home in the town of Turmusaya, north of Ramallah governorate, as part of a campaign of arrests of activists and citizens by the PA following the end of the Israeli aggression on Gaza on May 21, 2021.
An audio recording of Abu Awad, which has been recorded right before his arrest was widely circulated on social networking sites. He stated that some security personnel from the intelligence are surrounding his house due to his participation in the marches condemning the Israeli aggression on Gaza.
On Wednesday, May 26, Abu Awad told the Jericho Prosecution that he had been subjected to torture and degrading treatment, however, the prosecution ignored his statements and decided to extend his detention for 15 days to complete the investigation after he was accused of defaming the PA and causing sectarian strife.
AOHR UK stressed that the crackdown by the PA security services on activists and citizens in the West Bank is a disgrace, especially as it comes during an escalation of Israeli violence in the occupied territories, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
AOHR UK stressed the necessity to respect the political and civil rights of the Palestinians, especially in light of the escalating crimes by the occupation forces, adding that imposing restrictions on activists and opinion-holders would harm the Palestinian cause, which needs to allow public freedoms to defy the fierce attacks of the occupation forces and settlers.
AOHR UK emphasized that it is unacceptable for the European Union to continue to support a repressive authority that commits various crimes against a people under occupation and doubling their suffering.
The EU’s financial support to political systems should be conditional on respecting public rights and freedoms.