Human rights watch demands Abbas to probe death of detainee Amro

[ 17/02/2011 – 05:35 PM ]


WEST BANK, (PIC)– Human rights watch (HRW) demanded de facto president Mahmoud Abbas to order an independent investigation into the death of Hamas prisoner Haitham Amro who was tortured to death 18 months ago by Palestinian authority security interrogators.

In recent interviews with human rights watch, three witnesses to Amro’s death independently provided graphic accounts of the events that led up to it. All three said they had identified intelligence agents who participated in torturing Amro.

“Countries that provide direct support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security agencies, notably the UK and US, should suspend aid to these agencies until officials are held accountable for human rights abuses,” the rights organization said in a full report posted Wednesday on its website.

“Is acquitting officers so clearly implicated in torture and murder the kind of ‘state building’ we should look forward to from the Palestinian Authority?” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the middle east director at human rights watch. “The PA’s foreign supporters should suspend funding to its security forces until it can show that officials who torture and kill people are being prosecuted and punished.”

Amro died under interrogation on June 15, 2009, while detained at the PA intelligence headquarters in Al-Khalil city.

A PA military court trial in July 2010 acquitted five security officers accused of Amro’s death, claiming “lack of evidence” despite an official Palestinian autopsy report stating that he had died due to torture and testimony by the three detainees who witnessed his death.

This trial was the only one in which PA security officials in the West Bank were criminally prosecuted for torture, despite hundreds of torture incidents, but no PA security official was convicted for abusing citizens in custody, the organization underlined.

Human rights watch demands Abbas to probe death of detainee Amro.

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