Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan) condemns the ongoing detention of Majd Jawad Oweida, and the prohibition of publication of any information regarding his arrest, which prevented his family and Al Mezan from obtaining important information related to the circumstances of his arrest and interrogation. Al Mezan fears that Oweida has been subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.
It’s worth noting that on Tuesday, 23 February 2016, Israeli authorities at Erez crossing arrested Majd Jawad Oweida, 23, resident of Gaza City. Oweida is the director of the Palestinian Talent Club. In his affidavit to Al Mezan, Majd’s father stated that at approximately 8:00 AM on Tuesday, 23 February 2016, his son, along with six members of the Talent Club, went to Erez crossing to travel, using permits issued by the Israeli authorities. After waiting for several hours, the Israeli authorities arrested Oweida. At approximately 11:00 PM on the same day, Oweida’s father received a phone call from the Israeli security agency informing him that his son had been detained.
Al Mezan’s lawyers have been following Oweida’s case since its inception, but the Israeli authorities have not allowed them to visit him for 19 consecutive days. Al Mezan fears that during the elapsed period of time Oweida has been subjected to physical and psychological torture under which he may have given what is being considered a confession. These fears culminated after the Israeli authorities stated to Al Mezan’s lawyer that a bill of indictment against Oweida would be issued on 24 March 2016.
Al Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s ongoing arbitrary arrests, as well as torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against residents of the Gaza Strip, and the occupied Palestinian territory in general, as well as Palestinian citizens of Israel. In addition, Al Mezan condemns the ongoing use of Erez crossing as a trap for civilians living under the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has denied Palestinian citizens their right to freedom of movement. Al Mezan reaffirms that the Israeli courts chronically fail to implement the basic criteria such as the right to a fair trial, and calls on the international community to promptly intervene to stop the escalating Israeli violations against Palestinian detainees.