On Wednesday, 19 April 2017, in Al Shejaiya quarter in Gaza City anonymous armed individuals kidnapped Mahmoud Al-Zeq, Secretary of the National Action Committee in Gaza, and took him to an unknown location, assaulted him and later released him.
Field investigations indicate that four armed men in civilian clothes forced Mahmoud Al-Zeq, 62, into their green vehicle at gun point.
Following his release at about 18:00 on the same day, Al-Zeq stated that while he was in the vehicle, the men handcuffed and blindfolded him, and placed a plastic bag over his head. He was also beaten and threatened with death if he continued to talk about the political situation in Gaza.
Al Mezan strongly condemns the kidnapping and assaulting of Al-Ziq. He had spent 15 years in Israeli prisons for political activity against the occupation, and is well known for criticizing the government actions in Gaza. Al Mezan further stresses that such incidents indicate a decline in the rule of law, which threatens civilians’ rights to security, safety, and freedom of expression.
Al Mezan demands that relevant authorities investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice swiftly, and calls for taking necessary measures to prevent recurrence of such assaults on public order and freedom of expression.
Al Mezan reaffirms that the responsibilities of the government are not only limited to respecting the law and human rights by ensuring that its bodies compliance with human rights, but also extend to the obligation to protect through preventing other parties from violating human rights, and hold those who do so to account. These are inherent obligations of any ruling authority under both international and domestic law.