West Bank & Gaza
Urgent Demand to Apologize to Citizens and Hold the Perpetrators Accountable
MUSAWA – The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession express their deep concern and shock at the passiveness of decision makers regarding the severe assault against the citizens participating in the peaceful demonstration held on 13/06/2018 in Ramallah to express their opinion on an issue which concerns the general public. The assault involved physical and psychological harassment against women; dragging and deliberate bodily harm inflicted on dozens of citizens, who had to be transferred to hospital due to their injury; detaining dozens of the demonstrators; and firing gas and sound bombs at the crowd by members of the security services and others in civilian clothing and caps, in a scene reminiscent to the “Battle of the Camel” in Egypt. These assaults come following the statement of the Advisor to Mr. President in governorate affairs which forbade public gatherings during the holidays in clear violation of the provisions of the Basic Law and the international conventions the State of Palestine has acceded to, and in conjunction with the statements of the Governor of Nablus, which violated the obligations of his job.
MUSAWA affirms that such crimes and abuses of public office necessitates accountability of the perpetrators and the officials in charge. In a State where the rule of law and human rights are respected, such violations would have meant the immediate resignation of the officials who are directly in charge or their dismissal from office, not to mention that the perpetrators would have been held accountable for their actions, and the Head of the government would have declared their apology to the public and pledged to abandon the repressive police-oriented approach in dealing with its people. In addition, a fair remedy would have been sought by the government to all the victims, and clear instructions would have been given to all members of its security and executive bodies to ensure their commitment to defending the rights of their citizens and maintaining social unity. MUSAWA Believes that such measures should be taken and that such a culture should prevail in our country, especially that our people is in desperate need for unified national and societal harmony in order to safeguard our national project and maintain the dignity of our citizens.
Furthermore, MUSAWA believes that the Police shall realize that all citizens are entitled to the right to express their views freely, as stipulated in Article (9) and Article (26) of the Basic Law which state that all Palestinians shall be equal before the law and the judiciary without distinction based upon political views and that all citizens have the right to participate in the formulation of public policy and to express their opinion on the policy’s contents and requirements. This was witnessed in the recently held peaceful demonstrations in Ramallah and Bethlehem, which is a natural and lawful reaction manifesting a healthy behavior which should be adopted at all times. However, duty-bearers hold responsibilities which extend beyond this, including:
1. The resignation of the officials involved in the assault, whether directly or hypothetically, or their dismissal from office.
2. Bring the perpetrators of the attack to trial and hold them accountable administratively and criminally.
3. Take the required legal action regarding the statements of the Governor of Nablus, noting that MUSAWA had sent a letter in this regard to the President.
4. All those affected by the assault shall be sought a fair remedy financially and morally.
5. Grant a public apology to all citizens.
6. Embody a security doctrine based on preserving the dignity of citizens and their constitutional rights and guaranteeing their participation in the national project.
7. Take measures, make decisions, give instructions, and commit to ensuring that such attacks will not be repeated in the future.
MUSAWA believes that meeting the aforementioned demands is an inalienable right to which all citizens are entitled. We look forward to a speedy response from the concerned duty-bearers as soon as possible.
Issued on 24/06/2018