Dozens of Palestinian police attacked peaceful protesters during two demonstrations in Ramallah in July 2012. © ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/GettyImages
EU: Ensure accountability for abuses by police in West Bank
(Brussels, 23 September 2013) The EU must press leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) police and security forces in the occupied West Bank to stop using unnecessary and excessive force against demonstrators, Amnesty International said today.
“Attacks on protesters by police and security forces have seriously eroded the rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
“As a major donor to the PA, the EU must make clear that they are not prepared to tolerate continued rights violations by PA police and security forces and the leaders of the PA must ensure full accountability for any abuses.”
Amnesty International’s new briefing, ‘Shut up we are the police’, details how police and security forces have repeatedly carried out unprovoked and unlawful attacks on peaceful protesters. It also accuses the PA authorities of allowing them to do so with impunity.
During incidents on 30 June and 1 July last year, police and security forces, some in plain clothes, violently attacked peaceful demonstrators who were protesting in Ramallah. At least five protesters required hospital treatment.
Despite independent investigations into the conduct of the police and security forces which found that they used ‘unnecessary’ and ‘disproportionate’ force, the full reports from the investigations have not been published.
Most recently, PA police and security forces are alleged to have violently attacked peaceful protesters on at least four separate occasions in July and August 2013. Some attacks were carried out by officers in plain clothes who targeted and sought to intimidate women protesters and journalists present to report on the demonstrations.
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