Many civilians and journalists were attacked, injured, and arrested.
Al Mezan calls on the government in Gaza to open an investigation into the incident, take effective measures to hold perpetrators accountable.
On Tuesday, 7th May 2013, police forces in Khan Younis cracked down on a group of citizens who participated in a peaceful rally in Al Qal’ah square in the middle of Khan Younis city.
The rally was organized by the Public Front for the Liberation of Palestine to denounce the latest Israeli attacks on Syria.
According to Al Mezan’s field investigation, members of the police force attacked the demonstrators by batons which resulted in seven injuries, including Adnan El Faq’awi, 50, who is a member of PFLP Centeral Committee.
One of El-Faq’awi’s right hand fingers was broken.
In addition, Hashem Al Bayouk, 30, lost his consciousness and was moved to Nasser hospital.
Many others sustained various bruises in different parts of their bodes including Hejazi Abu Shanab, 54, Ibrahim As-Seqali, 47, Saleh Al-Seqali, 25, and Raed Shaheen, 30.
Moreover, five other citizens were detained and interrogated at the Khan Younis police station.
Five other journalists were arrested during the police repression of the rally.
The journalists were moved to the Khan Younis police station after their cameras had been confiscated.
The journalists’ personal information was taken before they were kept in prison cells.
Half an hour later, the police returned the journalists’ cameras and released them.
The journalists are Mohammed Abu Taha, cameraman at the Palestine Today T.
, Ahmed Ghanem and Abd Al-Aziz Al-Afifi, El-Mayadeen’s correspondent and cameraman respectively, photojournalist Iyad El-Baba, and Mohammed Abu Shahma from Media Production.
Following the dispersal of the rally, police forces patrolled the area where the PFLP offices are located, close to Al Jame’ Al-Kabeer.
PFLB leaders contacted government officials to inquire about the reasons for the police repression and call on them to release all detainees.
The patrols soon stopped and detainees were released.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights strongly denounces the arrest and attacks against journalists, the police repression of the rally and its use of force against citizens.
Al Mezan asserts that the Publication Law, No.
9 of 2005, ensures the right of journalists to cover events.
In addition, Al Mezan confirms that the right to assembly is protected under the Palestinian Basic Law in accordance with articles 5 and 26.
The Public Assemblies Law, No.
12 of 1998, prescribes the right to freedom of assembly without any prior consent or license, as the law only stipulates that the organizers of the assembly shall only notify the police – the notification only aims at protecting the safety of the assembly’s participants and ensure that the assembly does not cause any traffic or public disruption.
The Palestinian Basic Law also ensures the right to freedom of expression insofar as they do not include insults, slanders or religious contempt.
Similarly, Article 27 of the Palestinian Basic Law ensures the right to freedom of media and journalism.
Al Mezan calls on the government to immediately open an investigation into the incident, particularly in light of the recurrent recent incidents where peaceful assemblies have been violently dispersed.
Al Mezan also calls on the government to take effective measures in order to ensure justice for the victims and hold accountable those who responsible for the violations Ends