In the evening hours on Saturday 8 March 2014, Gaza’s police dispersed a ceremony commemorating the death of three Fatah activists in Khan Younis district.
Clashes erupted as the police tried to exert pressure on the ceremony organizers to cancel the activity.
Some people were injured after being subject to beating and tens were arrested.
Two police officers were also injured after being thrown by stones.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the police banning for a peaceful assembly in a closed place.
Al Mezan calls for investigating the circumstances which led to clashes between police and civilians.
According to Al Mezan’s field investigations and eyewitnesses, at approximately 2:00 pm on Saturday 8 March 2014, police general investigation department summoned a number of the ceremony organizers and talked to them about not having permission to organize the ceremony.
The organizers showed the police a written permission signed by Khan Younis district police allowing them to organize the ceremony.
However, the police confiscated the permission and ordered the organizers to end the ceremony in five minutes.
Meanwhile, a police force went to the ceremony place and ordered the participating people to evacuate the place.
Verbal argument started between police officers who were inside the hall and some of the participants who were outside the hall.
The argument then developed and people threw stones at the police while it was forcibly assaulted people who were inside the hall.
Police beat people with cudgels and some people sustained bruises.
According to police sources, three police officers were injured.
The police detained tens of the participants for few hours.
The internal security services summoned some of the detainees who were released, and seven of the detainees were still in custody when this press release was being published on Monday 10 March 2014.
The Gaza government\s Ministry of Interior and National Security published on its website a statement for its information manager Mr.
Iyad Al Buzum stating that: “a number of Fatah members in Khan Younis organized an activity without taking permission from the police in violation of law and persistence on the return of chaos.
” (Unofficial translation by Al Mezan).
Al Buzum asserted that a number of Fatah members attacked the police officers while they were implementing the law.
He asserted that the Ministry of Interior would not allow anyone to be above the law or to be the reason behind the return of internal disorder.
He emphasized that according the law freedom of opinion and expression are guaranteed for all.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the police dispersal of peaceful assembly which violates law No.
12 of 1998 related to holding public meetings and protects the right to peaceful assembly.
Al Mezan asserts that this law provides protections and safeguards that guarantee citizens' right to organize public meetings without conditioning them on obtaining prior permission from the authorities if it is organized in a closed place.
Al Mezan condemns the use of force by the police and law enforcement officers to disperse a peaceful meeting.
Al Mezan calls on the concerned authorities in the Gaza Government to open an investigation into the incident and to bring perpetrators to justice in order to ensure total compliance with the law and the human rights standards.