On Sunday, 17 March 2019, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights submitted to the General Attorney a criminal complaint about the human rights abuses committed by the security apparatus in the Gaza Strip. Security personnel assaulted and/or arbitrarily detained peaceful protesters, journalists, activists, and human rights defenders during the past week. The security forces perpetuated these assaults and arbitrary detentions in the context of dispersing peaceful protests in various areas of the Gaza Strip. Security agents also shot live fire in the air; restricted journalists’ access to, and coverage of, protests; confiscated footage, communications equipment and mobile phones; detained people outside official detention centers, and broke into and inspected houses without following the due legal process.
In its complaint, Al Mezan stressed that the practices by the security forces are in violation of Palestinian law as well as of Palestine’s obligations under international law. The right to peaceful assembly is enshrined in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as in Article 26 of the Palestinian Basic Law (PBL) and in Articles 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the Palestinian Law No. 12 of 1998 on Public Assemblies. Under Palestinian law, citizens organizing public or private assemblies are not required to secure prior permission from competent authorities. The right to freedom of expression and free opinion has been protected in Article 19 of PBL. The freedom of journalists and media practitioners has also been guaranteed in Article 27 of PBL.
Al Mezan demands that an effective and credible investigation into all committed violations is launched and all perpetuators are held to an account, security agents. Al Mezan also calls the protection of the rights and liberties of citizens, including journalists and human rights defenders, beginning with the immediate release of all arbitrarily detained persons and the return of all confiscated equipment and materials.
 Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 2019, “Al Mezan Condemns the Escalating Attacks by the Security Forces on Protesters, Journalists, and Human Rights Defenders in Gaza”, available at www.mezan.org/en/post/23478