Palestinian Hamas militants attend the funeral of their comrades who were killed in an explosion, in the central Gaza Strip May 6, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
Amnesty International called on Hamas to end the violent suppression of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip.
“Hundreds of protesters have been subjected to beatings, arbitrary arrest and detentions, and torture and other forms of ill-treatment since March 14,” the Amnesty report stated.
Amnesty’s demands follow the detention of one of their own research consultants, Hind Khoudary, who was interrogated and “ill-treated” by Hamas security forces, according to the report. The male interrogators used abusive language and advised her not to carry out human rights work or they would accuse her of spying.
“The crackdown on freedom of expression and the use of torture in Gaza has reached alarming new levels. Over the past few days, we have seen shocking human rights violations carried out by Hamas security forces against peaceful protesters, journalists and rights workers,” said Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Amnesty International.
On March 10, 13 activists were arrested by Hamas for planning a protest against the high cost of living in Gaza. They were eventually released, but were told not to continue with their protest plans.
Amnesty also recorded incidents where demonstrators were attacked, and human rights workers along with journalists were beaten and arrested.
“The Hamas de facto administration must immediately launch an independent, thorough and transparent investigation into the unnecessary and excessive use of force, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other ill-treatment by security forces. Where there is sufficient admissible evidence, suspected perpetrators should be prosecuted in fair trials,” Higazi said.
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