`Hamas abusing Palestinians in Gaza`

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 22:37

Gaza: Palestinians face serious abuses in the Hamas criminal justice system, including arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detention, torture, and unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Wednesday.

Since it took control of Gaza in 2007, Hamas has executed at least three men convicted on the basis of “confessions” apparently obtained under torture.

The 43-page report, “Abusive System: Criminal Justice in Gaza,” documents extensive violations by Hamas security services, including warrantless arrests, failure to inform families promptly of detainees’ whereabouts, and subjecting detainees to torture.

Gaza: Palestinians face serious abuses in the Hamas criminal justice system, including arbitrary arrest, incommunicado detention, torture, and unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Wednesday.

Since it took control of Gaza in 2007, Hamas has executed at least three men convicted on the basis of “confessions” apparently obtained under torture.

The 43-page report, “Abusive System: Criminal Justice in Gaza,” documents extensive violations by Hamas security services, including warrantless arrests, failure to inform families promptly of detainees’ whereabouts, and subjecting detainees to torture.

Hamas should urgently reform Gaza’s criminal justice system to end arbitrary arrests, ensure that detainees have prompt access to lawyers, end prosecutions of civilians in military courts, and hold accountable security officials who commit violations, Human Rights Watch said.

The executions of people whose confessions were obtained under torture is a clear signal that authorities should immediately impose a moratorium on, if not abolish, the death penalty. Hamas authorities should also promptly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate all credible allegations of abuse in detention.

Human Rights Watch interviewed victims of abuses and their families, lawyers, judges, Palestinian rights groups in Gaza, and reviewed case files and court judgments.

Witnesses reported that the Internal Security agency, the drugs unit of the civil police force, and police detectives all torture detainees. The Independent Commission for Human Rights, a non-partisan Palestinian rights group that also monitors Palestinian Authority abuses in the West Bank, reported receiving 147 complaints of torture by these three Hamas forces in 2011 alone.

ANI



First Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 22:24

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