The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is appalled at the news of the death of political activist and critic of the Palestinian Authority, Nizar Banat as he was arrested by the PA’s security services overnight. This terrible act has been rightly met with utter condemnation not only in Palestine but around the world. We send our sincere condolences to Nizar’s family.
At a time of escalating oppression by Israeli security forces against Palestinians across the Occupied Palestinian Territory and inside the state of Israel, the Palestinian people should rightly be directing their resistance at Israel, and the PA should be severing all security cooperation with the occupying state.
In addition, the right for Palestinians to criticise the Palestinian Authority for its policies and actions without fear of intimidation, arrest, torture, and imprisonment should be protected.
The PSC has raised these issues in the past with the PA and is doing so again in relation to the death of Nizar.
Nizar had pursued legitimate ways of raising his concerns and striving for peaceful change when he headed the Freedom and Dignity list, one of the lists that stood for Palestinian Legislative Council elections. Those were postponed at the end of April by the Palestinian President.
PSC supports the call from Nizar’s family for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death and for all those responsible to be brought to justice. We also call on the PA leadership to end its repressive responses to activists criticising its policies and practices and the intimidation of those who speak up for the Palestinian people seeking to achieve their rights to freedom, justice, and equality.