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February 10, 2009

Hamas Slammed By Amnesty International

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A report by human rights group Amnesty International accuses Hamas of a recent and ongoing "deadly campaign" to silence opponents and 'collaborators' in the Gaza Strip.

Since the end of December 2008, during and after the Israeli military offensive which killed some 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians, Hamas forces and militias in the Gaza Strip have engaged in a campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of “collaborating” with Israel, as well as opponents and critics.

Amnesty also states:

The targets of Hamas’ deadly campaign include former detainees accused of “collaborating” with the Israeli army who escaped from Gaza’s Central Prison when it was bombed by Israeli forces on 28 December 2008, as well as former members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces and other activists of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.


Most of the victims were abducted from their homes; they were later dumped – dead or injured – in isolated areas, or were found dead in the morgue of one of Gaza’s hospitals. Some were shot dead in the hospitals where they were receiving treatment for injuries they sustained in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza’s Central Prison. The perpetrators of these attacks did not conceal their weapons or keep a low profile, but, on the contrary, behaved in a carefree and confident – almost ostentatious – manner.

The report continues:

There is incontrovertible evidence that Hamas security forces and armed militias have been responsible for grave human rights abuses and that the victims of such abuses and many others are being intimidated and discouraged from testifying about their ordeal. The Hamas de-facto administration has displayed a flagrant disregard for the most fundamental human rights norms, not only allowing such abuses to be perpetrated, but actually facilitating and encouraging the abuses by justifying them and by granting absolute impunity to the perpetrators.

Amnesty International calls on the Hamas de-facto administration to:

- immediately end the campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats in which Hamas forces and militias have been engaged since the end of December 2008;

- agree to the establishment of an independent , impartial and non-partisan national commission of experts to investigate human rights abuses committed by its forces and militias and any other parties since December 2008, and pledge to cooperate with such a commission and allow it to carry out its work;

- guarantee that victims, witnesses and others who testify or otherwise complain about human rights abuses will not be targeted, harassed or intimidated;

- undertake to take the necessary steps to address the findings and recommendations of the investigation, which should be made public;

- undertake to hold accountable those responsible for the abuses, according to internationally recognized fair trial standards and without recourse to the death penalty.


Posted by at February 10, 2009 02:38 PM

Comments

Meanwhile, over at time, its Cairo Bureau Chief is rewriting history.

Did you know that Golda was the prime minister of Israel during the Six Day War?

Scott Macleod does...

http://mideast.blogs.time.com/

Posted by: David at February 10, 2009 04:49 PM

While Amnesty International is to be commended for finally recognizing Hamas' Human Rights violations, and devoting a report to them, I notice that, even when the focus is on Hamas, they just can't miss an opportunity to slam Israel:

"...during and after the Israeli military offensive which killed some 1,300 Palestinians, most of them civilians..."

This, in the first line of the report, and they're using the numbers provided by Hamas!

Posted by: Jeff Greene at February 11, 2009 11:22 AM

While welcoming Amnesty's report one should be careful that it is not being done as a prelude to renewed criticism of Israel and the west. Amnesty has for example, been pushing for Canada to heed HRC rulings against it.

Posted by: Brad Brzezinski at February 11, 2009 11:43 AM

Is it just me, or is Amnesty more willing to criticize Palestinians when they kill other Palestinians than when they kill Jews?

Posted by: George at February 11, 2009 11:58 AM

"Is it just me, or is Amnesty more willing to criticize Palestinians when they kill other Palestinians than when they kill Jews?"

Exactly. Amnesty swings into action to criticize Hamas shooting Fatah members in depth but never manages more than one vague line "condemning" the firing of rockets at Israeli kindergartens.

Posted by: Johnny at February 11, 2009 01:18 PM

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