On Tuesday 27 April 2010, the Gaza security apparatus and police forces arrested 16 activists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) throughout the Gaza Strip.
These activists were arrested during and after distributing a political press statement criticizing the performance of the Gaza government regarding new taxes.
Some of the detainees were beaten, ill-treatmented and abused.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemns this arrest and calls for the respect of freedom of opinion and political action, which are protected under the Palestinian law and the international human rights principles.
According to Al Mezan's field investigations, at app.
10:30pm on Tuesday 27 April 2010, Gaza police arrested 11 activists from the Palestinian Popular Front in the Ash-Shati refugee camp.
These activists were distributing a press statement criticizing the performance of the Gaza government.
They were detained for long hours and released on the same night.
The security forces also tried to arrest another activist, but he escaped.
The forces opened fire on him, but he was not injured.
At approximately 1am on Wednesday 28 April 2010, the internal security apparatus detained two activist from the PFLP in the Jabalia refugee camp, in North Gaza District.
These activists were distributing the same press statement.
8am on the same day, they were released.
In a separate incident, at app.
7:30pm on Wednesday 28 April 2010, the internal security apparatus detained three activist from the PFLP while they were distributing the press statement.
They were detained and questioned about distributing the press statement.
They were released in the morning hours of the next day.
According to affidavits of some ex-detainees, they were beaten and insulted while they were detained and interrogated.
On Wednesday morning, some activists from PLFP distributed the press statement in Khan Younis in the south of Gaza District.
11:30am on the same day, police forces and internal security apparatus went to the PLFP's office in Khan Younis.
Some activist from the PLFP were at the office.
One of these activist was holding a sealed envelope.
One of the security forces tried to take this envelope, but the PLFP activist refused to give it to him.
An argument erupted, which escalated into a fist fight.
More police forces came to the office and arrested one of the PLFP activists.
The police informed the PLFP that two of its members were wanted in relation to the argument.
According to an affidavit given to Al Mezan by one of the ex-detainees, he was severely beaten and insulted while he was detained.
Following the intervention of the PLFP and other national leaders, several activists from PLFP were not detained.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights emphasizes the right of everyone, individuals or groups, to the freedom of speech and opinion; and the right to practice political action.
The right to freedom of opinion, in a society consisting of different political groups with different opinions, includes the freedom to disagree.
t These disagreements should be respected and encouraged as it has an important role in enhancing positive things and correcting negative political practices.
It also should be respected to ensure a democratic lifethat respect human rights, public freedom and the rule of law.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights condemns any arrest on the ground of political activity and condemns the abuse and insult of political detainees.
Al Mezan calls on the Gaza government to stop any future political arrests.