News Briefs

Al Mezan Lawyers Visit Al Mashtal Detention Center

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2 October 2007 |Reference 29/2007

On Monday 1 October 2007, Al Mezan's lawyers visited Al Mashtal detention center, which is located west of Gaza City.
They met with members of the Executive Force (EF), who briefed them about the conditions of detention and interrogation.
The lawyers also met with an officer in charge of interrogation and with the legal advisor at the detention center.
Both briefed them on the types of cases they handle at the detention center and the process of interrogation.
They also spoke about the problems faced by the EF and their role in maintaining law and order in the Gaza Strip.
They held that the EF observes the due process in all the stages of arrest and investigation.
According to the information available to Al Mezan the Al Mashtal detention center was run by the Al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, since it took control over the Gaza Strip in mid-June 2007.
A prisoner, Walid Abu Dalfeh, died under interrogation inside this center.
The center was transferred to the control of the EF, which was created by the deposed government in 2006.
This visit comes in line with Al Mezan's efforts to monitor the respect of human rights; especially the rights of citizens under the custody of the EF and Al Qassam Brigades, and ensure that they are detained and interrogated in accord with a process of law that preserves their dignity, safety and rights.
It also aimed to learn about the mechanisms and procedures followed by the EF when it deals with citizens' complaints and ensure that such procedures are in consistency with the Palestinian law and human rights standards.
Al Mezan's lawyers were welcomed in the detention center.
Their tour was made smooth the EF.
They were allowed to enter detention and interrogation rooms and interview some of the detained people, who provided information about the conditions of interrogation and detention.
They made a number of comments and reservations to the EF.
In principle, Al Mashtal is not legally considered a detention center under the Palestinian law.
They also briefed EF officers on the relevant human rights standards that any law enforcement personnel must observe as far as procedures of arrest, detention and interrogation are involved.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights commends the commitments made by the EF to ensure respect of the law and to rectify the illegal conducts that Al Mezan had strongly criticized in the past.
Al Mezan appreciates the EF’s cooperation during this visit.
Nevertheless, Al Mezan asserts that the EF must comply with the rules of Palestinian law and human rights standards, particularly the Palestinian Penal Law No.
3 Year 2000, and respect the rights of all persons under their custody both before and after trial.