A drug addict stands behind the bar at a Hamas-run prison in Gaza City March 1, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday that it has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a Palestinian who was detained in a Palestinian prison in Beitunia, near Ramallah.
The 31-year-old detainee, Mahmoud al-Hamalawi, died in prison on March 18. The man’s family said he moved from the Gaza Strip to Ramallah two years ago.
His family and human rights groups claim that al-Hamalawi died as a result of beating. They say that he was arrested by the PA Preventive Security Service four days before his death.
The PA prosecutor-general’s office said that the man’s body has been referred to the Palestinian Forensic Institute for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
The office said that the investigation was still in its early stages, adding that the results of the investigation will be announced once it is completed.
The victim’s brother, Emad, said that a group of men stormed al-Hamalawi’s home on March 14 and beat him with metal batons while he was sleeping. The assailants dragged his brother out of the house and continued to beat him in the open air before taking him away in a van to an undisclosed location, he said.
Emad said that four days later he received a phone call from the Beitunia prison informing him that al-Hamalawi had suffered a stroke and died on his way to hospital.
The London-based Arab Organization for Human Rights and some Palestinian factions held the PA responsible for the death of the detainee. The group said that al-Hamalawi was detained by five officers belonging to the Preventive Security Service and died as a result of severe torture.
Sources in Ramallah said that the incident began after a scuffle between al-Hamalawi and a senior officer with the security service in the center of the city. The sources claimed that the officer and some members were behind the attack
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