EU urges Palestinian Authority to respect freedom of expression

Palestinian activist Nizar Banat (KhaledAbuToameh - Twitter)

Middle East Monitor  /  May 4, 2021

The office of the European Union (EU) Representative in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Sunday expressed concern over the attack that targeted the residence of an activist in the West Bank, calling on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to “respect freedom of expression.”

The office announced on Twitter that it: “Is following with concern the attack on activist Nizar Banat’s house last night,” in the town of Dura, south of the West Bank.

“Violence against politicians and human rights defenders is unacceptable,” the EU office added.

The mission called on the PA to ensure: “Respect for freedom of expression and the protection of human rights activists.”

Last night, Banat revealed in a Facebook video that: “A group of vandals accompanied by the security services fired massively, broke the doors of the house, and fired stun grenades.”

He revealed that the Public Prosecutor had summoned him an hour before the attack, without specifying the exact time.

Banat, an anti-PA activist and a candidate in the Freedom and Dignity list, was expected to compete in the Legislative Council elections race (scheduled for 22 May), which was cancelled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last Friday without setting another date.

Hours before the incident, Banat posted a letter on his Facebook page addressed to representatives of the EU in Palestine to announce his intention to go to the European courts to request the suspension of financial support directed to the PA after Abbas’s decision to delay the elections.

The PA did not comment on Banat’s accusations and the statement of the EU.