Monday, October 8, 2012

Torture in Gaza: A Report from Human Rights Watch

Its a pigs fly moment for Human Rights Watch, who has just issued a report highlighting the failure of the criminal justice system in Gaza under Hamas. The "democratically elected" regime routinely conduct arrests without  warrants, deny detainees access to a lawyer and torture detainees in custody. Since Hamas seized control  in 2007, it has executed at least three men  on the basis of “confessions”  obtained by torture. According to the  Independent Commission for Human Rights, Hamas' Internal Security agency, the drugs unit of the  police force and local detectives all torture detainees. 147 complaints of torture  have been reported in 2011.

This report is based on interviews conducted in Gaza in May  2011, based on interviews with ex-detainees, prisoners' families, lawyers, officials and human rights activists and a Gaza judge.. Names were redacted from the  report to protect the participants from reprisals.  Recommendations and guidelines were presented to Hamas officials- their response?  To deny the charges.

From Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director of Human Rights Watch "After five years of Hamas rule in Gaza, its criminal justice system reeks of injustice, routinely violates detainees' rights, and grants impunity to abusive security services.  Hamas should stop the kinds of abuses that Egyptians, Syrians and others in the region have risked their lives to bring to an end." 

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