Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Al Mezan) has received complaints from a number of public servants concerning undelivered salaries for October 2016, which were due on Thursday, 3 November 2016. Upon arriving at the bank to withdraw the fund, the civil servants discovered that their salaries had been suspended. According to information available to Al Mezan, around 50 civil servants currently have their salaries suspended and did not receive prior notification.
Al Mezan denounces the act of suspending salaries and hopes that the current state of affairs is a reflection of an error rather than steps taken as policy, and therefore that the salaries will be swiftly reinstated. The suspension amounts to a violation of the employee's right to receive his/her salary and it impacts the standard of living of families who have a right to live with dignity.
It should be noted that articles (68 to 74) of the Palestinian Civil Service Law and articles (17 to 22, and 174 to 177) of the Palestinian Military Service Law have provided a set of safeguards to ensure that an employee has the right to receive salary, and it is inadmissible to suspend, restrict, or cut a salary arbitrarily. Under the law, these acts are only permissible according to specific procedures, including an administrative investigation, allowing an employee to defend him/herself in case of the accusation of administrative or penal violations.
The civil servants have not had charges brought against them, and there were no administrative investigations carried out prior to the suspension of their salaries. Therefore, the employees have not had the opportunity to verify the reasons for this action, or to defend him/herself according to the law. Al Mezan expresses its outrage at the actions taken, which burdens the employees and contributes to the decline of the already desperate humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
The suspended salaries of the public sector employees represent breaches of Palestinian law and of international human rights law. Al Mezan demands the reinstatement of salaries and benefits for all of the employees immediately and retroactively, in accordance with the law.