Palestinian rights group sues PA over prison torture

Student says he was detained and beaten for five days after criticizing local government on social media

Illustrative photo of a Palestinian prisoner (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a Palestinian prisoner (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)

A Palestinian human rights organization has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Palestinian Authority for the alleged torture of a prisoner, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Thursday.

The report said that the Civil Authority for the Independence of the Judiciary Body and Rule of Law (ISTIQLAL) filed the suit in the Nablus Magistrate’s Court, on behalf of complainant Ahmad Bilal Abd al-Malak al-Deek.

A student at Al-Quds Open University, al-Deek said last month he was detained for five days after he criticized the local government on his personal social media accounts.

Al-Deek said two investigators deprived him of sleep, beat him with sticks and batons, verbally abused him, and forced him to perform humiliating acts.

ISTIQLAL reported that al-Deek was only released from detention when his health began to deteriorate. He was taken to a local hospital where a doctor confirmed his injuries, corroborating his account.

The lawsuit names also the Palestinian police force and the Palestinian attorney general as co-defendants.

Last year, a Palestinian NGO, the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights said it had documented nearly 500 complaints of detainee abuse in Palestinian jails since the previous year, up by 200 from 2013.

The rights group said at the time it presented the findings to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who in December signed on to 15 international conventions, including one prohibiting torture.

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