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PA Clamps Down on Protests
By Micah Halpern

Sunday August 22, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Palestinians police in the West Bank, under the direction of the Palestinian Authority, are clamping down on protests.

Palestinian police arrested 24 people protesting the death of a prominent political activist while in the custody of Palestinian security forces.

The demonstrators had planned to call for accountability in the death of Nizar Banat, an outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority who died while in custody on June 24, shortly after he was arrested. Instead police prevented the protest and arrested the two dozen activists.

PA police spokesman Louay Arzeigat issued a statement that the demonstrators had not received a permit and "refused to sign the conditions for the gathering." The statement did not elaborate further.

Banat's family has said that he was beaten as he was taken out of his home and they have accused the Palestinian Authority of trying to cover up the death.
Palestinian officials have said the matter is under investigation.

The protesting group’s major complaint - aside from regular human rights abuses, is that the PA was elected for four years back in 2005 – and that same government is still in control in 2021.

Abbas has faced mounting pressure for calling off parliamentary elections whenever it appears that his Fatah party would suffer crushing defeat at the hands of their rival, the Hamas militant group.

Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization, condemned the security services for blocking this demonstration and making the arrests.

It accused the government of "attacking the rights and freedoms guaranteed by law" and called for the immediate release of those who were arrested.

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23 August 2021 01:56 PM in Thoughts

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