12 December 2022 |Reference 72/2022
On Sunday, 11 December 2022, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organized an event at the Lighthouse restaurant in Gaza to commemorate Human Rights Day. The event was attended by representatives of civil society and human rights organizations from Gaza and included competitions and traditional musical activities.
According to Al Mezan, during the ceremony, at around 7 pm, a man in plain clothes entered the venue and identified himself as a tourist police officer. He then ordered them to stop immediately the music activity, claiming that the organizers of the event had not obtained permission to carry out the entertainment activity.
Al Mezan strongly condemns this abusive police intervention, which is in violation of both domestic and human rights law. Notably, this is not the first time that the police have interrupted or cancelled such an event. Holding indoor rallies or meetings does not require prior authorization from the Palestinian police, and, according to the law, police officers are not permitted to attend these gatherings, nor are they allowed to seek permission from the organizers or property owners. Accordingly, Al Mezan calls on competent authorities to launch an investigation into the incident, to prevent it from happening again, and to strengthen guarantees for the protection of public freedoms and human rights.
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