Middle East

Rise in complaints of abuse in Palestinian jails

A Palestinian woman holds a poster bearing pictures of Arab detainees being held in Israeli prisons since before the 1993 Oslo peace accords as they protest against the postponement of the release of the prisoners outside the gates of Ofer prison, near the West Bank town of Betunia, on March 29, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMAN)

RAMALLAH: A Palestinian rights group says it has documented nearly 500 complaints of detainee abuse in Palestinian jails in 2013, up by 200 from the previous year.

The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights said Thursday that the increase is due, in part, to better access for its investigators to lockups in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic militant group Hamas has ruled Gaza since seizing it from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, leaving him with only parts of the West Bank.

The rights group says it presented the findings to Abbas who last month signed onto 15 international conventions, including one prohibiting torture.

The head of the group, Randa Siniora, says the Palestinians now need "to take all the necessary measures to prevent torture in its facilities."





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