PA campaign of politically motivated arrests slammed by rights body

Denouncing the Palestinian Authority in the aftermath of the death of activist Nizar Banat while in the custody of PA security forces on July 17, 2021 (Abbas Momani - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  December 16, 2022

Palestinian Hemaya Centre for Human Rights yesterday condemned the policy of political arrest carried out by the Palestinian Authority’s security services in the occupied West Bank.

The rights watchdog said the PA’s implementation of a policy of arrest, torture and harming of Palestinian citizens based on their political affiliation constitutes a real threat to the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories.

It considered the security services’ practices a “clear violation” of international human rights law, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which grants individuals the right to freely hold opinions without harassment and prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention.

The centre described the arrests as a “flagrant violation” of the articles of the Palestinian Basic Law, which emphasizes personal freedom and prohibits the arrest, search or imprisonment of anyone without a judicial order.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has been carrying out a widescale detention and summoning campaign against Hamas’ leaders and members over the past week, raiding the homes of students and arresting a number. Hamas has said this is widening Palestinian divisions.