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Gaza: HRW condemns torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trials

last updated Oct 04, 2012

The human rights organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a report that documents a list of cases in which Palestinians were tortured by Hamas security forces in order to extract confessions. According to HRW, Hamas also continuously uses arbitrary and incommunicado detention, unfair trials and further violations of detainee’s rights.

Current Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal
Current Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal; Source: Wikimedia Commons

The report states that at least three men have been executed on the basis of coerced confessions since the Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007. One of them, Abdel Karim Shrair, was tortured for several weeks in 2008 and, after “confessing” to collaboration with Israel, executed in 2011.

HRW has emphasised the EU’s call last week for a moratorium of the death penalty in the Gaza Strip. The EU "considers capital punishment to be cruel and inhuman, failing to provide deterrence to criminal behaviour, and representing an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity", it said in a statement.

A statement of the Hamas’ Interior Minister denies the allegations and claims that torture is not used in prisons in the Gaza Strip.

HRW (2012) Report: "Abusive System - Failures of Criminal Justice in Gaza"

Guardian: Hamas accused of routine torture of detainees in Gaza Strip

Washington Post: International rights group accuses Hamas security forces in Gaza of prisoner abuse