Amnesty International condemns Gaza crackdown on protests

Amnesty International condemns Gaza crackdown on protests
2 min read
18 March, 2019
Amnesty International condemned Hamas crackdown on Gaza protesters.
Hamas security forces’ violent crackdown against peaceful Palestinian protesters, activists, human rights workers and local journalists must be immediately halted and investigated, said Amnesty International.

Hundreds of protesters have been subjected to beatings, arbitrary arrest and detentions, and torture and other forms of ill-treatment since 14 March, when Palestinians took to the streets across the Gaza Strip to protest against the rising cost of living and deteriorating economic conditions under the Hamas de facto administration.

On Monday, an Amnesty International Research Consultant, Hind Khoudary, was detained and interrogated by the security forces of the Ministry of Interior for working with Amnesty International.

Her interrogation lasted for three hours during which four male interrogators subjected her to ill-treatment.

The interrogators used abusive language and warned her not to carry out human rights research and threatened to prosecute her for spying and working as a foreign agent.

"The crackdown on freedom of expression and the use of torture in Gaza has reached alarming new levels. Over the past few days, we have seen shocking human rights violations carried out by Hamas security forces against peaceful protesters, journalists and rights workers," said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

"It is clear that Hamas security forces are trying to stop human rights defenders from carrying out the vital work of documenting and reporting on the severe violations they are perpetrating during this ongoing violent and arbitrary crackdown."

"We are sending a clear message to the Gaza authorities today that we are watching and we will work to ensure that all those responsible for these violations are held to account".

Amnesty said the human rights violations perpetrated by Hamas forces against peaceful protesters, journalists, and human rights defenders in Gaza are the most severe for more than a decade.