Palestinian Territories: Skyline condemns security services' ongoing violations of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and calls for release of detained students
Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights calls on the Palestinian government to release 9 students arrested by the security services and to end escalating violations in the West Bank, including the suppression of peaceful demonstrations and gatherings and the arrest of dozens of students, activists and released prisoners, subjected them to torture and degrading treatment. It stresses that these practices seriously violate the relevant rules of international law.
In a statement released today (Monday), Skyline condemns the West Bank security services for arresting nine Birzeit University students yesterday for participating in a protest sit-in to demand an end to political arrests and the release of those detained.
Skyline reports that security services arrested a group of Birzeit University students on Sunday: Mahmoud Nakhleh, the secretary of the Committee for Cooperative Work in the Student Council, and representatives of the Islamic bloc, "Osama Abu Eid" and "Ibrahim Bani Odeh", in addition to continuing the arrest of a member of the Student Council Conference "Qassam Hamayel" 147 days ago, and he has been on hunger strike for 35 days.
In addition, Skyline points out that the student movement and the student council of Birzeit College organized a solidarity stand last night with the students arrested by the security forces at the Al-Manara traffic circle in the center of Ramallah. Skyline therefore rejects the practices of the Palestinian security services against students, their persecution and arrest.
Skyline" points out that the security forces not only arrested those students, but also pursued the students - in civilian clothes - participating in the vigil, as they arrested the two members of the student council, "Abdul-Ghani Fares" and "Hatem Hamdan", after beating them. They also arrested "Amr al-Taweel" and "Obaida Qatusa" after summoning and interrogating them for security questioning this morning.
In this regard, Skyline indicates that on more than one occasion, Palestinian Authority security forces attacked peaceful protesters going to peaceful gatherings or to mourning ceremonies for people killed by the Israeli army with tear gas canisters, causing dozens of them to suffocate, in addition to other injuries caused by the panic that gripped these activists and individuals.
Skyline stresses that the information it observed 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 persecution. It emphasizes that these violations seriously affect the set of fundamental rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Moreover, Skyline stresses that the Palestinian government's dismissive attitude toward the executive bodies' practices against freedom of opinion and expression-particularly the attacks on peaceful assemblies-and the lack of legal oversight of the executive bodies, as well as the failure to implement the release orders issued by the judicial authorities, provided tacit cover for the continuation of the security services' violations.
At the end of the statement, Skyline calls on the Palestinian government to take urgent action to release the arrested students and all those detained for political reasons or expression, to halt the relevant trials, to ensure that abuses of peaceful gatherings by the security services are prevented, to investigate allegations of torture, and to hold those responsible for violations against those detained accountable.