The EU has financed the construction of a number of jails in the Occupied Palestinian territories, and the EU has a police unit stationed in Ramallah, the so-called “EUPOL COPPS”, headed by one Mr. Kenneth DEANE. The COPPS unit is responsible for training Palestinian “security personnel”, mainly the militarized police, on how to arrest and deal with detainees before and while in prisons.
We do not absolve European COPPS unit stationed in Palestine of the serious violations that take place at the prisons of the Palestinian Authority. EUPOL COPPS must carry full responsibility for its silence and for covering up for the crimes and violations of human rights at the PA prisons and by its militarized police.
COPPS is directly responsible for the deteriorated health of Palestinian journalist Journalist Mohamed Shoukri Awad from Budrus village, West of Ramallah and other political detainees incarcerated at the prisons of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Awad and other Prisoners are in hunger strike to protest their lawless incarceration by the PA and to demand their immediate release.
The PA continues arresting journalists, bloggers, academics, political activists, politicians from the ranks of the opposition as well as political prisoners released from the israeli jails and throwing them into its own jail without trial, as a part of a what is called “security coordination with Israel”, in which both the israeli criminals and the PA dictatorial regime try to protect their power by controlling the freedom of expression. The PA militarized police will not release a detainee even when the courts issue decisions requiring their release.
Since weeks, a number of prisoners are in hunger strike, while, due to PA censorship orders, there is a complete blackout in the Palestinian media about them.
The continued violation of prisoners rights at PA jails are documented in preparation for legal action at international courts at the right time. Lately, the group “Friends of Humanity International” in Europe has published the report below about the suffering of journalist Mohamed Awad, whose health is deteriorated due to his hunger strike demanding his immediate release.
“Friends of Humanity International” urges the Palestinian Authority to release hunger-striking journalist Mohammed Awad
“Friends of Humanity International” has urged the PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the chief of the caretaker government in Ramallah Salam Fayyad to release the hunger striking journalist Mohammed Awad, whom the Palestinian security services arrested on February 19.
In a press release issued Monday, the organization said that the arrest of Mohammed Shukri Awad, 25, from Budros near Ramallah, who works as a journalist at Ramsat Agency for media production, and detaining him without any justification in the Preventive Security Force headquarters in the West Bank prison of Petunia by the Palestinian Authority, presents an arbitrary act against him.
The Vienna-based human rights group demanded the Palestinian Authority to treat Awad in accordance with the law, which ensures his physical and psychological harm, and to immediately release him and enable his safe return to his family and to let him practice his journalistic work freely. It also called upon the PA to promote public freedoms and renounce the policies of arbitrary detention and interrogation, which have received a lot of international criticism and denunciation.
The organization pointed out that the successive human rights reports about the bad treatment of detainees inside the PA’s detention centers since 1993 caused deep concern that the detained journalist could face torture and abuse.
Also, it called upon both the European Union and the donor countries to reconsider their unconditional support of the PA security services because of the repeated disregard of law and human rights.
It is noteworthy that Mohammed Awad was arrested by the PA security services for political reasons for three times before, during which he spent more than 11 months in detention centers and was tortured by interrogators. The Ramallah court had decided on April 7 to release him on bail, and therefore his family did all the required procedures. However, the same court backed down on its verdict an hour later, because it was believed that the Public Prosecution put pressure on it under the pretext of conducting further investigation.