PCHR Condemns Dispersing Peaceful Assembly in Hebron
PCHR Condemns Dispersing Peaceful Assembly in Hebron and Preventing Journalists from Media Coverage
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the security services’ dispersal by force of a peaceful assembly in Hebron on Friday and prevention of journalists from covering the attack. PCHR calls upon the Attorney General to open an investigation into such attacks and demands the government in Ramallah to take the measures needed to stop such attacks and respect public and press freedoms that are guaranteed and under the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights standards.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 13:15 on Friday, 16 August 2012, dozens of Palestinian civilians participated in a peaceful assembly following the Friday prayer. They went out of al-Hussein Bin Ali Mosque in the centre of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, in support for the former Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi. Security services arrived at the place and prevented the participants from gathering and walking in Ein Sarah Street in the city. Security officers started dispersing the participants and attacked some of them with clubs and sticks.
Moreover, they prevented journalists, who were present to cover the incident, from filming or taking photos. Amer Abdin, a photojournalist of Pal Media agency, said to PCHR's fieldworker that a security officer approached the journalists and informed them of a decision issued by the district's Chief to prevent them from covering the incident. Abdin added that when he tried to film again with his colleague Mohammed Abu Ghaniya, who works for Reuters, security members took them to an officer in the area, who informed them about the decision for the second time.
In this context, PCHR underscores the following:
- The right
to peaceful assembly is guaranteed under article (26-5) of
the Palestinian Basic Law and Public Meeting Law No.
- Article 27 of the Palestinian Basic Law ensures press freedoms and work in the Palestinian Authority, while article 19 of the same Law guarantees the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
1- Calls upon the Attorney General to seriously investigate these attacks and prosecute the perpetrators;
2- Calls upon the government in Ramallah to take the necessary measures to stop such attacks and respect public and press freedoms that are guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and international human rights standards; and
3- Demands the security services to respect human rights that are ensured under domestic laws and relevant international standards.