LONDON – An Arab human rights group based in London accused the Palestinian
Authority of inhumane practices and human rights violations against Palestinian
civilians in a scathing report published on Friday.
The Arab Organization
for Human Rights has put the primary blame for the human rights abuses on PA
President Mahmoud Abbas and called on the UN, Arab League and Organization of
Islamic Cooperation to take urgent action.
AOHR monitored the practices
of the PA’s security agencies from January to July 2012 and used information
from victims detained by the PA, their families, eye-witnesses and local NGOs in
It accused the PA of arbitrary actions against Palestinian
civilians in the West Bank – including torture, detentions, interrogations and
firing people from their jobs.
From June 2007 until the end of 2011, PA
security forces detained 13,271 Palestinian citizens and 96 percent were
subjected to various methods of torture, the report said. This resulted in the
death of six detainees and caused “chronic illness” in others.
January and July 2012, PA security agencies detained 572 people and sent
summonses to 770 more.
“Among them women and old people, who were often
forced to wait from early morning to the evening before being
Some were summonsed daily for weeks on end, others were kept
under virtual house arrest. The period also witnessed raids against
universities, hospitals and houses in order to arrest people wanted for
protesting against the Israeli occupation. PA officers confiscated equipment and
personal cash, which often went missing after the searches,” the group
It also said the PA was guilty of torture and degrading treatment,
with 18.7 percent of a sample of 300 former detainees stating that they
experienced “severe torture” and 99.7% claiming that they were exposed to
“With regards to the effect of detention on the
lives of the detainees, 60% of those in the study explained that they now suffer
from chronic diseases due to torture and the poor conditions in which they were
held in detention.
On another level, 60% confirmed that repeated or
extensive detention reduced them to a state of acute poverty,” the report
AOHR said also that many experienced harassment and dismissal
from their jobs.
“At least 73 people were made unemployed in the period
under review, and it is estimated that around 3,200 have faced the same
injustice since 2005. Harassment also includes students with security records
being unable to find employment, acquire a driving license or open a business,”
the group maintained.
The PA’s activities, the NGO said, are routinely
carried out in full coordination with Israel. It added, however, that the
detentions and summons by the PA surpassed those by Israeli security
PA security agencies have “no concern for the age or gender” of
those being detained or summonsed, the report said.
“A significant number
of detainees are elderly people aged 60 and above, representing 11.3%; women
made up 15.3%. Of the sample, 39.3% are students, 38% of whom confirmed that
their studies were interrupted as a result of detention,” the report
It calls on the PA to adhere to international law and
conventions, and to declare that a future Palestinian state “must be set up on
true bases built on the rights of the Palestinian citizen to life and
It accused the PA of not learning vital lessons from the Arab
Spring that has taken place in Arab states in the past two years.
staggering that the PA should, in the shadow of the Arab Spring, cultivate its
own system of impunity, in total defiance of its people’s demands for freedom
They seem to be oblivious of the factors which led to the
downfall of the tyrannical regimes across the region.
There is absolutely
no justification for its acceptance of becoming a subcontracted security
instrument of the Israeli occupation, crushing at every opportunity the
legitimate aspirations of their people for freedom and
It also said that the PA has not learned from its
experiences with Israel, and called to halt military cooperation with the Jewish
“The PA’s human rights violations against the Palestinian people
have amplified their suffering under the Israelis and undermined their national
[unity] and struggle for selfdetermination.
It is clearly obvious that
the PA hasn’t learnt from its experiences with the Israelis. On the contrary, it
remains firmly committed to its campaign of detention and destroying national
solidarity while serving foreign agendas which strike the Palestinian national
freedom project at its core,” the report stated in its conclusion.
places complete responsibility for these human rights violations on the
Palestinian President Abbas... AOHR calls for the secretary-generals of the UN,
Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to put pressure in
Mahmoud Abbas to stop political detention as it harms the interests of all
Based in North West London, the AOHR in the UK was founded
in 1993. Its website, which is in Arabic, said it was set up “to defend human
rights in general and the Arab human rights in particular, and to publish the
whole truth no matter how painful.”