Letter: Police state in Palestine

Police state in Palestine

Sir: The latest detention and reported beating of Dr Iyad al-Sarraj following his criticism of the Palestine National Authority (report, 15 June) is a disturbing development. It is ironic that Dr Sarraj should be the victim of arbitrary arrest and torture after he worked so hard for human rights under the Israeli occupation.

The treatment of Dr Sarraj is yet further evidence of the deteriorating human-rights situation in the PNA-ruled area. In recent months Amnesty International has received reports of detainees being beaten during interrogation in Gaza, Jericho and Nablus prisons. There has also been the abduction of the human rights activist Bassam Eid, the arrest of the journalist Maher Alami and the police attack on students at An Najah University in Nablus. Many other incidents go largely unreported.

In the past, our organisation has worked closely with the PLO in demanding human rights and justice for the Palestinians. Therefore, it is particularly sad to witness events in Palestine. When the Israeli army redeployed out of Palestinian cities, it was replaced by no less than nine security agencies. The promise of a "strong police" in the Oslo accords has taken the form of a police state. The West as a sponsor of the Oslo process should neither ignore nor condone the PNA's increasing authoritarianism.


Executive Committee

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

London WC1