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Political detentions to end in Gaza and West Bank

Palestinians hold up pictures of relatives who were arrested and imprisoned for political reasons by Palestinian Authority security forces, during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron, on June 09,2011 [Najeh Hashlamoun / ApaImages]
Palestinians hold up pictures of relatives who were arrested and imprisoned by Palestinian Authority security forces, during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron, on 9 June 2011 [Najeh Hashlamoun/ ApaImages]

The Public Freedoms Committee in the occupied West Bank said on Monday that it has started working to bring an end to political detention in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Safa news agency has reported. According to the head of the committee, Khalil Assaf, it has held meetings with security officials in both of the occupied Palestinian territories.

Assaf described the meetings as "positive". He pointed out that the committee started its work immediately after the Cairo talks held last week. He expects that "within 48 hours" there will be no political prisoners in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"The committee receives names of prisoners and discusses their status with the security services and then decides whether they are in custody on political grounds or not," Assaf explained. He noted that there are no definite statistics covering the number of Palestinian political prisoners.

The move on such prisoners, he added, is part of the preparations for the Palestinian elections scheduled for May.

The Public Freedoms Committee arose out of the Cairo talks between the Palestinian factions held in 2001.

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