Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) emphasised that the security services of the Palestinian Authority continue suppressing freedoms of citizens by targeting all elected institutions, including student unions in universities.
The PA violations coincides with the rise of extremist right-wing in the Israeli elections today. The PA allows maximum freedoms to these groups, which work under the slogan “Death to the Arabs”, while it prevents Palestinians from expressing their opinions freely and prosecuted them if they went against their agenda.
The intellectual, cultural and political diversity in Palestinian society is being eliminated, while it grows in Israeli society under the full protection at the political and security levels.
This week, the security services arrested five Birzeit University students for expressing their opinion and carrying out the student union activities.
Those arrested are Mahmoud Nakhleh, Secretary of the Cooperative Work Committee in the Student Union, and representatives of the Islamic bloc Osama Abu Eid and Ibrahim Bani Odeh, in addition to two other members of the Student Union Conference, Abdel Ghani Fares and Hatem Hamdan, who were subjected to violence and beating during their arrest after protesting against the arrest of their colleagues.
Abbas’ statements in official meetings, including the Arab summit today, have no actual application on the ground. He praised Algeria for unifying Palestinians and demanded more support to the Palestinians, while his security forces are doing the total opposite and tearing the Palestinian community apart.
The number of Birzeit University students arrested has risen to 7; the longest arrest of whom is a member of the Student Union, Qassam Hamayel, who has been detained for more than 120 days and is subjected to serious medical negligence after he went on a hunger strike 40 days ago protesting his arbitrary detention.
In a video of the mother of Qassam Hamayel, she said “My son can no longer move, talk, or even go to the bathroom. He is dizzy and weak all the time”.
AOHR UK held Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh fully responsible for the safety of the detainees and called for the release of all students and other all other arbitrarily detained persons, and for the PA security services to respect citizens ideological beliefs.
The targeting of civil society activists and student unions by the PA aims to eradicate professional unions as long as the elections brings individuals that oppose the Palestinian security services.
AOHR UK stressed that the continued support of the PA and the failure to take any steps by the donor countries to restructure and amend the police apparatus to serve citizens rather than terrorise them and restrict their freedoms makes these countries a partner in these crimes.