The Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip have begun arresting young men with “immodest” haircuts, a Palestinian human rights group complained Sunday.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that Hamas policemen arrested several young men and cut their hair.

Some of the men were beaten while in detention, the group said.

The group called for an investigation into the assaults, saying they harmed personal freedoms.

According to the group, Hamas policemen over the past few days stopped several young men as they were walking in the street in various parts of the Gaza Strip.

The men were taken to Hamas police stations under the pretext that their haircuts were immodest. “The men had their hair cut in a humiliating manner and some were beaten,” the human rights group said.

The men were released only after they signed a document pledging not to appear in Western-style haircuts or wear low-waist pants.

One of the victims told the group: “On April 4, I was waiting for a taxi to take me home from work. A policeman who saw me asked me to get into a police vehicle.

Inside, their were about 12 young men. No one had an idea why we were being detained. They took us to the police station in Shajaiyya. On the way, one of the men was beaten by the policemen.

“When we arrived at the police station, they made us stand in a line and started mocking our haircuts and cursing us. When one of the detainees protested, he was beaten. Then they cut the hair of all of us. Before releasing us, they made us sign a pledge not to appear in strange haircuts or wear low-waist pants.”

The crackdown is on hairstyles is the latest in a series of measures taken by the Hamas government over the past year against the Western lifestyle.

Earlier this year, Hamas banned tight-fitting or low-riding pants. Hamas has also banned women from smoking or appearing in public without covering their heads.

Recently, a UN agency canceled a marathon in the Gaza Strip after Hamas barred women from participating in the event.

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