The UN is "concerned" about the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s suppression of freedoms in the occupied West Bank, the spokesman for the UN secretary-general has said.
In a news brief held yesterday afternoon, Stéphane Dujarric addressed the murder of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat and the PA's suppression of the protests which have ensued calling for accountability. Palestinians believe the PA is behind the activist's death.
"We are obviously following very closely," Dujarric said, "I think we have all seen the images coming out of the West Bank. I think the conduct of the Palestinian security forces is concerning."
He added: "We have our human rights colleagues on the ground who witnessed both Palestinian security forces and non-uniformed persons using force against protesters, as well as journalists and human rights officers, who are themselves documenting the event."
Dujarric called on the PA to "ensure freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, and peaceful assembly," stressing that "any excessive use of force is investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law."
Banat, 43, was a social activist who had accused the PA of corruption, including over a short-lived COVID-19 vaccine exchange with Israel this month and the postponement of a long-delayed election in May. He had registered as a parliamentary candidate for that contest.
The PA rejects accusations it is corrupt and that it arrests people for their political views.