Time: 2pm (local time)
Since Friday, 4 January 2019, the Internal Security Apparatus (ISA) in the Gaza Strip has summoned over 200 people; almost all are Fatah Movement leaders and members, according to the documentation by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights. They have been summoned by means of written and oral orders to report at the offices of the security apparatus all over the Gaza Strip. Some of those summoned informed Al Mezan that they were warned against joining any activities planned for 7 January 2019 in celebration of the anniversary of Fatah’s founding. Among those summoned were four journalists, three of them affiliated with Fatah. Some of the summoned were kept under arrest while others were released, but were handed written summons orders to report on the next day at ISA offices.
Ahmed Al-Louh, 33, a correspondent to Al-Ribat Radio from Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in the Middle Gaza district, said that the general investigations apparatus of the police department summoned him in writing. The order was sent to Al-Louh at his house on Saturday, 5 January 2019, requiring him to show up at Abu I’reban police station in Al-Nuseirat. Upon arrival at the police station, Al-Louh was referred to the general investigations office of the Middle Gaza district, where he was forced to sign a pledge not to publish anything about Fatah and to show up at the same office upon request. Al-Louh was released at 12:30pm on the same day.
Al Mezan is deeply concerned by the continuous arbitrary detentions that are politically motivated in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and condemns the ongoing summoning and detention of Fatah supporters in Gaza. The rights to peaceful assembly, free expression, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention as well as from ill-treatment have been emphasized in the Palestinian Basic Palestinian Law (temporary constitution)—Articles 10, 11, 17, and 19. These rights are universal and are protected by international human rights law. They must be upheld and respected at all times. The recent ban on journalists’ coverage of upcoming Fatah celebrations is particularly concerning as it marks a blatant violation of the freedom of press.
Al Mezan stresses that participation in political life, whether by individuals or groups, is a fundamental right for all Palestinians. It covers areas including organizing private meetings, public activities, and popular assemblies in accordance with the Public Meeting Law No. 12 of 1998 and with Article 26(5) in the Palestinian Basic Law.
Al Mezan calls for an immediate end to all arbitrary detentions and arrests that are executed in violation of the due process. Al Mezan reiterates its calls on Palestinian authorities and political powers to work together in good faith to end the internal division, which is the main instigator of a wide range of human rights violations in the oPt, and to promote human rights and liberties for all Palestinian citizens. In doing so, the rule of law must be upheld and the rights and freedoms respected.