Hamas beats Palestinians peacefully gathering in Gaza

The following is a translation of a story published in Arabic by the Ma’an News Agency.  (Translation provided by a CiF Watch supporter and professional translator.)

“The dismissed[1] (Hamas government) forcefully breaks up a gathering welcoming the reconciliation and arrests those who participate in it.”

April 28, 2011

Gaza- Maan

The Palestinian Human Rights Center has condemned the breaking up of a peaceful, spontaneous gathering of dozens of citizens by the dismissed (Hamas) government. The citizens were celebrating the atmosphere of Palestinian reconciliation at the Square of the Unknown Soldier in the western part of Gaza city. The dismissed (Hamas government) police arrested a number of these citizens.

According to the investigation of the Palestinian Human Rights Center, around 8 pm, Wednesday, April 27, 2011, dozens of citizens, including women, gathered at the Square of the Unknown Soldier in the western part of Gaza City spontaneously, supporting the reconciliation efforts between the Fatah and Hamas movements, which were announced at the Egyptian capital (Cairo)[2] in the same evening.

At about 8:30 pm, or about after half an hour[3], four police cars appeared at the scene and immediately a large number of policemen descended from them, some of them in civilian clothes. The policemen began to attack the participants of the gathering [which included] severe beatings, curses and insults, and chased/bothered/harassed/troubled[4] them, according to the (Palestinian Human Rights) Center.

In addition, the policemen arrested five participants, among them Jamal ‘Awni Farwana – the activist defending prisoners rights – who was severely beaten, and Talal Abu Zarifa, a leader/commander in the Democratic Front (for the Liberation of Palestine). They were led to the headquarters of the Investigations Department[5] in the ‘Askar military complex in the western part of Gaza. The participants were detained in one of the rooms of the headquarter for about half an hour before an Investigations Department officer told them that they were free to go without investigating or questioning any of them.

The (Palestinian Human Rights) Center demanded that the dismissed government open a serious investigation concerning the attack on the participants of the peaceful gathering in the Square of the Unknown Soldier, their humiliation and arrest in light of the recurrence of attacks (like the one described here) by the security agencies in Gaza lately.

The (Palestinian Human Rights) Center stressed that the right for peaceful gathering is guaranteed by the Palestinian Basic Law and is in accordance with international human rights standards/criteria[6].

The (Palestinian Human Rights) Center called on the Palestinian security agencies to abide by the international human rights standards/criteria[7], the Palestinian National Authority’s Basic Law and the relevant laws.

[1]  “dismissed” is short for “the dismissed government” (i.e. Haniyye’s government). The term is usually used by opponents of Hamas (although not only opponents – Al-Jazeera used it, and one interviewee from Hamas noted that he didn’t like it…)

[2]  I know that you know what’s the capital city of Egypt, it’s this way in the original article!

[3]  The above comment is true here as well

[4] (the word used here in Arabic is “mulahaqa” which can mean any of these words)

[5]  I guess one of the millions of Hamas’ security services

[6]  The Arabic word “ma’ayir” means both “standard” and “criterion”

[7]  See above

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