MUSAWA carefully examined the complaint of the citizen, Mervat Al-Azzeh, about suffering sexual harassment by an X-Ray technician at one of Bethlehem's private hospitals. MUSAWA also followed up on the position of the Ministry of Health and the Public Prosecution, as well as the various measures announced in response, the most recent of which was a decision, attributed to the public prosecution, to refer the complainant to a psychiatrist, and another decision published on the Ministry of Health's official Facebook page calling for the formation of an impartial investigation committee on this matter.
We at MUSAWA-The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession- deem the subject of this complaint as a very serious matter that uncovers the depth of the moral, legal, administrative, and social crisis, and we state the following:
1. The Public Prosecution has no authority over the complainant, making its decision to refer the complainant to a mental and psychiatric examination null and void, with no legal credibility and no legal basis whatsoever, which constitutes a violation of the complainant's constitutional rights and an overstepping of the public prosecution's jurisdiction.
2. We demand that the Ministry of Justice and the Council of Ministers implement the recommendation of the Ministry of Health to form an impartial and independent investigation committee comprised of specialists, jurists, and representatives of civil society organizations known for their integrity, independence, and professionalism, while also warning against any tampering or pressure aimed at closing the case or altering its course.
3. We urge the investigation committee not to limit its work to the harassment incident, but also to investigate the way the official parties handled this case, ever since its occurrence and until this date, from a feminist rights perspective, and take the necessary legal penal and administrative measures against lawbreakers and anyone that infringes on the constitutional rights of the complainant.
We at MUSAWA stress that a society that does not uphold and respect the dignity of women can never prosper, as no violator of a woman's dignity should go unpunished.