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Stockholm- Skyline calls on the Palestinian government to stop security forces' escalating violations in the West Bank such as suppressing peaceful demonstrations and gatherings, arresting, degrading and torturing activists, and refusing release detainees despite courts' decisions.

Saturday, Skyline states that it closely follows up the repressive practices of the Palestinian security services against activists in various cities of the West Bank on the ground of peaceful protests or exercising freedom of opinion and expression, and union work.

Skyline says that on more than one occasion, Palestinian Authority security forces attacked peaceful protesters who went out to peaceful gatherings or during the funerals of people killed by the Israeli army with tear gas canisters, causing dozens of them to suffocate and suffer further injuries. Others were put to flight by the panic that seized these activists and individuals.

The international foundation Skyline points out that these forces had also previously unjustifiably attacked a large group of citizens who had gathered to celebrate the release of several Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. They also confiscated celebratory banners and flags, while dozens of participants were beaten and assaulted.

For its part, "Skyline highlights the statement of the Committee of Families of Political Prisoners, which observed an escalation of security service assaults against citizens in the West Bank last February. There were a total of 187 violations, distributed as follows: 85 violations in the city of Nablus, 80 violations in Jenin, 20 violations in Ramallah.

 

According to the documented information, the violations committed by the security services included 33 cases of arrests, 24 summonses, 6 cases of assaults and beatings, 7 raids on homes and workplaces, 18 cases of suppression of freedoms, 2 cases of confiscation of property, 12 cases of arbitrary trials, and 85 cases of prosecution and suppression of demonstrations and other violations.

Skyline stresses that the information it monitors about the practices of the security services in the West Bank seriously and unacceptably violates the rules of international law that guarantee freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly without restriction or prosecution. Indeed, these violations seriously affect the set of basic rights provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Furthermore, Skyline emphasizes that the negative role of the Palestinian government towards the practices of the executive bodies against freedom of opinion and expression - especially the assault on peaceful gatherings - the absence of legal oversight over the executive bodies, and the failure to implement the release rulings issued by the judicial authorities, preludes for more violations by the security forces.

Finally, Skyline calls on the Palestinian government to take urgent measures to release detainees on political and expression of opinions' grounds, stop relevant trials, ensure protecting peaceful gatherings, investigate complaints of torture, and hold those responsible for violations to account.