The PA justice minister says the Banat activist subjected to physical violence, his death in custody is an exceptional case.
The Minister of Justice of the Palestinian Authority and the head of the investigation committee in the death of activist and dissident Nizar Banat says Banat has been subjected to physical violence and his death has been “unnatural”.
In an interview with Palestinian Official TV, Mohammed al-Shalaldeh said the first medical report on the death of the 43-year-old Banat on June 24 indicated that he was subjected to physical violence.
The activist died during his arrest by PA security forces in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Al-Shalaldeh said the Banat lost consciousness during his transfer to the Palestinian Authority’s preventive security center.
Members of the security force, al-Shalaldeh continued, transferred the Banat to the Alia government hospital in Hebron in his vehicles, but was pronounced dead on arrival after witnesses proved he was alive during his arrest from his home.
The minister concluded that the cause of Banat’s death – who was one of the Palestinian Authority’s fiercest critics – was a neurological shock, which caused acute heart and lung failure.
Al-Shalaldeh also said the incident was an exceptional case, and that it is not part of a model carried out by the PA against its critics.
The committee of inquiry, according to al-Shalaldeh, carried out its work “in an objective, impartial and confidential manner”, and its report has now been forwarded to PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayeh who, in turn, forwarded it. to the head of the military judiciary to take legal action and investigate the suspects.
The family says Banat has been “murdered”
However, Banat’s family rejected the findings of the committee of inquiry and said the body did not speak or take the testimonies of any of the family members or witnesses who were with Banat at the time of the trial. his arrest and assault.
According to an initial autopsy, Banat was beaten on the head, chest, neck, legs and hands, with less than an hour passed between the arrest and death.
Banat’s family has accused PA security forces of murder.
On Monday, Banat’s father demanded that the security forces involved in the arrest of his son be publicly tried.
“Nizar was killed after being dragged from his bed, and all the forces that carried out his arrest and murder under the cover of darkness must be brought to a public trial,” Khalil Banat told a conference. printing.
The occupied West Bank has attended several rallies calling for Banat’s death and demanding the resignation of AP President Mahmoud Abbas.
The protests were over suppressed violently by the PA security forces and country police, resulting in several international and human rights bodies expressing their concern about the actions of the security forces, particularly for their attacks on journalists.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory said one of its rights controls covering the protests in the West Bank city of Ramallah was among dozens of people who had been killed. attacked in a “totally unacceptable way.”
“The attack, by people in civilian clothes, included punches, the use of pepper spray, and attempts to steal a phone used to document the events,” he said on Facebook.