Bassem Eld Discusses Human Rights Violations in Palestine before Uasr and Cpap Audiences

By Abu-Jabr, Raja | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 1998 | Go to article overview

Bassem Eld Discusses Human Rights Violations in Palestine before Uasr and Cpap Audiences


Abu-Jabr, Raja, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


BASSEM ELD DISCUSSES HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN PALESTINE BEFORE UASR AND CPAP AUDIENCES

Bassem Eld, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), discussed Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) human rights violations after Oslo at the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR) in Springfield, VA and the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine (CPAP) in Washington, DC on Feb. 8 and 9 respectively.

Since the establishment of the PA in Gaza and the West Bank in May 1994, 19 Palestinians have died in Palestinian custody, Eld said. He charged that there have been no investigations, and the perpetrators were punished in only two cases. Human rights violations under the PA also include the torture of prisoners, arbitrary arrests, absence of freedom of the press, widespread corruption and lawlessness of government officials, Eid said.

"The rights of the Palestinians today are between the Israeli hammer and the Palestinian rock," Eid said. Palestinians living in Area B suffer the most. They are subject to arrest by both the PA and the Israelis. In both cases, no charges are lodged against the detainees, and they are not brought to trial. Eid added that even as Palestinians continue to suffer from such Israeli abuses as home demolishing, land confiscation, and arbitrary arrests, human rights of Palestinians are further threatened by the conduct of the PA.

Palestinians understand the difficulties facing the PA today, Eid said. They recognize that the PA is under pressure from both the United States and Israel to stamp out terrorism. This, however, does not justify human rights violations. "Nowadays, the PA is more committed to protect Israeli security than Palestinian human rights," Eid charged.

"If the intellectuals who are supposed to build a civil society are keeping silence today on all of these abuses, I would predict a dark future for the Palestinians," Eid continued. He described his frustration with the faculties of Palestinian universities to whom the PHRMG sent a petition calling for the release of Dr. Fathi Subuh, who was detained by the Palestinian Security Services after giving an examination to his students in which he asked about corruption in the PA. …

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