MUSAWA – The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession condemns the security services’ assault on the citizen Ahmad Halaweh following his arrest, which lead to his death according to statements by Nablus’s governor, Major General Akram Rajoub, to the media. In his statements, the Major General pointed out the arrest of the aforementioned citizen on Tuesday 23/08/2016 at dawn, and his detention at Al-Junaid Prison, where tens of security-service members beat to death the unarmed detainee inside the prison.
This assault, which falls under the crime of murder/extrajudicial execution, and in light of the security service officials’ inability to stop the perpetrators, represents a blatant violation of the Basic Law; a suppression of the fundamental rights of citizens; and even an infringement of a citizen’s most important right, namely the right to life. Furthermore, the assault represents an official failure to fulfil the Palestinian State’s obligations pursuant to the international conventions guaranteeing human rights which Palestine has acceded-to very recently, at the forefront of which stands the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Moreover, this assault reflects a culture of ignorance which contradicts the values of this era, and it not only presents a significant impediment to succeeding in the establishment of a Palestinian State of law and embodying the principle of the rule of law as binding upon all, but also can be seen as a cause for legal accountability due to the violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which state that murder/extralegal execution falls under crimes against humanity.
The killing of Halaweh and the previous statements by some officials explicitly calling for punishment present the greatest endangerment to the unity of the Palestinian community, leading to a state of chaos and a prevailing jungle law. In light of these dangers, MUSAWA demands the following:
1- All of the security service officials who are in charge of the perpetrators of the attack must be suspended, referred to an administrative investigation committee, and held accountable (each within the limits of their responsibility) pursuant to administrative punishments which do not exclude dismissal or removal from office, provided that the results of the investigation, which must be conducted impartially and transparently, should be announced in accordance with the legal process in force.
2- A criminal investigation must be conducted by the Public Prosecution to look into the circumstances of the incident, and all of the officials in charge should be detained and referred to the judiciary.
3- An independent investigation committee must be formed in order to investigate into the incidents that has recently occurred in Nablus. The conclusions of the investigation must be announced. Any decisions made by the aforementioned committee must be implemented and adhered-to by all authorities and officials, and they must be announced and made available for all.
4- The necessary political, administrative and legal procedures must be taken to ensure that all security service personnel abide by the rule of law and code of conduct. They should embody a security dogma founded on the idea that the security services’ most fundamental duty is to maintain the security of the homeland and its citizens, and to ensure that everyone abides by the law, without prejudice to human rights.
Issued on 23/08/2016