Addameer Condemns Beating to Death of Palestinian in PA Custody

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association strongly condemns the beating to death of Palestinian Ahmad Izz Halaweh by Palestinian Security Forces early Tuesday morning, 23 August 2016. Mr. Halaweh was arrested by PA Security Forces and was taken to a Nablus’ Juneid Security Compound, where he was beaten to death inside custody. The arrest of Mr. Halaweh took place amid crackdown by Palestinian Security Forces, in which a number of Palestinians have been arrested and killed in the West Bank in vague circumstances.

These acts of torture and ill-treatment, which exemplify modern lynching techniques by government personnel, contravene Article 13 of the Palestinian Basic Law, which states that prisoners and detainees should be treated properly and should not be subjected to torture or ill-treatment. The violations of this law are crimes that necessitate accountability for perpetrators and remedies for victims. Thus, the Palestinian authority and its security and intelligence personnel must abide by the provisions of national legislation and those of the Convention Against Torture.

Addameer underlines that, “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” Addameer considers the actions of the Palestinian Security Forces to be in contravention with the Convention Against Torture and other international human rights treaties. These treaties prohibit the use of torture and ill-treatment against detainees and affirm the right of individuals to fair trial guarantees. Addameer condemns the use of torture and ill-treatment under any circumstances and considers this to be a non-derogable prohibition, to which individuals must be held accountable.

Addameer further holds that the Palestinian Authority must comply with the conventions to which it is a party, especially considering the ongoing deteriorating human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. Addameer further calls upon the Palestinian government to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (entered into force on 22 June 2006).  Addameer also calls upon the Palestinian Authority to open an immediate and impartial  investigation into the circumstances of these recent deaths.