Jerusalem24 – Yesterday afternoon, Palestinian security forces arrested 15 activists and protesters at the al-Manara, in Ramallah.
The arrests came ahead of a planned protest calling for justice for Palestinian political dissident Nizar Banat who was killed by Palestinian Authority security forces in July, as well as calls for Palestinian elections.
Some of those arrested were also physically assaulted such as Maher al-Akhras, a former detainee who was held in Israeli prisons and took part in a hunger strike for 103 days. Al-Akhras was hospitalized from the physical assault against him, he was then detained at Ramallah hospital and was prevented from seeing any lawyers or family members. Others who were arrested include former detainee and head of the Bisan Research center, Abi al-Aboudi, local activist Omar Assaf, as well as Palestinian astrophysicist Imad al-Barghouthi.
According to “Lawyers for Justice,” the charges being held against them are illegal gathering and stirring up sectarian strife.
In a press statement, the Independent Commission for Human Rights, called for the immediate release of all persons who were arrested by the Palestinian police for their intention to participate in a peaceful assembly called by several movements calling for the accountability of those accused in the Nizar Banat case.
According to the commission’s information, the organizers submitted the required notifications for the gathering to the authorities.
In the statement, the commission said that it is following up the issue of the 15 detainees, calling on official authorities to respect their right to peaceful assembly and to provide them with protection.
According to local sources, last night Palestinian youth closed off the road between Nablus and Jenin near the town of Sila al-Dahr; in protest of the arrest and physical assault of former detainee Maher alAkhras.
In response to the arrests, Palestinian activists have called for another protest, today Sunday, against political arrests and attacks against the right to peacefully assemble.