Press release issued by the Ministry of Interior and National Security iniresponse to the Human Rights Watch Report on freedom in the Gaza Strip
By Wafa News Agency
With great interest, we followed up the report issued by Human Rights Watch on October 23, 2018, that included allegations against the Security Forces in the Gaza Strip accusing them of repressing the dissent. We think that this report lacks accuracy and objectivity and does not reflect reality in the Gaza Strip.
We would like to highlight the following clarifications on what was mentioned in the report:
1. Before several months, we have received some inquiries from Human Rights Watch on issues related to freedom in the Gaza Strip. They also asked about specific persons who are being allegedly arrested in Gaza. We responded to their request by preparing a document that clarified and elaborated on all these issues, explaining the grounds of the cases in question.
However, when the report was published, we got struck because Human Rights Watch ignored our document and all the information and clarifications included!
2. On 22th of October, we sent Human Rights Watch another document telling them that we protest at their overlooking of our clarifications in which we addressed the issues they had inquired about.
3. The Ministry of Interior and National Security stresses that it maintains continual contact with international and human rights organizations. In fact, many international organizations, such as the Red Cross, pay regular visits to and hold many meetings with the ministry.
4. The Ministry of Interior and National Security *DOES NOT* hold any person in dentention because of his/her political viewpoints or exercising his/her freedom of expression. All the prisoners in the Gaza jails are being held due to criminal acts they have committed and each has a legal file about his/her case.
5. We have confirmed to Human Rights Watch, and we confirm once again, that the Ministry is prepared to receive a team from the organization that would visit all the jails in the Gaza Strip. Then, Human Rights Watch would closely investigate the jails and the prisoners’ conditions there. We reiterate that we have nothing wrongful that may prompt us to hide the truth and we are ready for absolute cooperation with any organization.
6. We have the ministry-affiliated supervisory team that observes the overall performance of the security forces, especially the conditions of the prisoners. When recording any violation made by a police officer, we interrogate that officer and inflict an appropriate punishment on him/her.
We do protect Palestinian citizens and implement the Basic Palestinian law in terms of freedom of expression and prisoners’ rights.