Time: 11:30am (local time)
At 5:30pm on Sunday, 10 March 2019, security personnel surrounded the house of Jihad Al-‘Arabeed in Jabalia refugee camp in North Gaza district and interrupted a private meeting held in the house. The meeting was joined by activists of the “Yasqot Al-Ghalaa” movement, Arabic for “bring down the rising cost of living”. The participants were planning activities to protest the increasing costs when they were interrupted. The security arrested eight participants in the meeting and took them to a detention center in North Gaza.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses its deep concern by the continuing violation of the right to peaceful assembly, whether in public or in private—a right enshrined in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 21 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. as well as in Article 26 of the Palestinian Basic Law and in Articles 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the Palestinian Law No. 12 of 1998 on Public Assemblies. Under Palestinian law, citizens organizing public or private assemblies are not required to secure prior permission from the authorities.
Al Mezan demands that the eight detainees be released immediately. The authorities in Gaza must enforce Palestinian law in line with Palestine’s legal obligations under international law including human rights instruments which Palestine acceded to in 2015. The de facto authorities are under an obligation to respect and protect citizens’ rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression, as well as freedom from arbitrary arrest.
 Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has prepared a fact sheet on internal violations of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, among other rights. The fact sheet will soon be published in Arabic and English on Al Mezan’s website.