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Gaza interior ministry criticises HRW’s report on torture

Image of the Palestinian Authority police forces violently intervening a protest against the trial of Basel al-Araj, who was killed during a raid by Israeli soldiers at his home, and his five friends in front of the Ramallah Minor Court in Ramallah, West Bank, March 12, 2017 ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )
Palestinian Authority police force can be seen violently arresting a Palestinian man [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security accused Human Rights Watch of ignoring the reality and facts about the situation of freedoms in the Gaza Strip.

“With great concern, we followed up the report issued by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on October 23, 2018, that included allegations against the Security Forces in the Gaza Strip accusing them of repressing dissent,” the ministry said.

The ministry stressed that the HRW’s report “lacks accuracy and objectivity and does not reflect reality” in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the ministry said that the it had “received some inquiries” from HRW “on issues related to freedoms in the Gaza Strip,” stating that the organisation “asked about certain persons who were being allegedly arrested in the Gaza Strip.”

The ministry “clarified and elaborated all issues, explaining the grounds of all the cases in question,” stating that it was “shocked” because the organisation “ignored our explanations”.

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Meanwhile, the ministry said that it sent another message to the organisation on 22 October asking why its reply was ignored, but it received no response.

The ministry reiterated that it maintains continuous contact with the different human rights groups, including the International Committee for the Red Cross and visit its jails and meet those held in custody.

“We do protect the Palestinian citizens and implement the Basic Palestinian law in terms of freedom of expression and prisoners’ rights,” the  ministry added.

Read: Israel wounds 130 Palestinian protesters in Gaza

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