Palestinian rights group forges sturdy link between West Bank, Gaza -
by Amira Hass
A leaflet was distributed early this week in Nablus calling for a halt to the security collaboration with Israel in the West Bank. That very day, the Palestinian Preventive Security agency arrested a key activist of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which was behind the leaflet. The man was released within a few hours, but an acquaintance who visited him related that the signs of the beating he received were still visible on his body.
It’s likely that the arrest and beating will be part of the statistics contained in next year’s report of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR). They will be contained under the rubrics of “Violations of the right to personal security and physical safety, especially in the form of torture and ill treatment (during detention)” and “Violations of the right to freedom of expression.”
The report for 2012, published on Tuesday, states that last year, the ICHR documented 306 violations in the category of torture and ill-treatment − 172 in the West Bank and 134 in the Gaza Strip. This is a considerable increase over 2011, when 214 cases of ill-treatment and abuse of persons in detention were recorded. The past year saw an increase of 10 percent in the overall number of complaints by residents of the Palestinian Authority regarding violations of their rights by the authorities − 3,185 (of them, 812 in the Gaza Strip) in 2012, as compared to 2,876 (831 in Gaza).