Take Action for Mohannad Karajah
On 4 October 2016, Mr Mohannad Karajah was severely beaten by members of the Palestinian security forces who were dressed in plain clothes while participating in a peaceful demonstration in Ramallah.
Mohannad Karajah is a Palestinian human rights defender and attorney representing Addameer - Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Addameer is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil society organisation that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. The organisation provides free legal aid to prisoners, documents and carries out research on human rights violations in Palestine and engages in advocacy work, training and awareness raising.
On 4 October 2016 near the Yasser Arafat square in Ramallah, a peaceful demonstration was held in commemoration of martyrs of the Popular Palestinian Uprising and to protest against President Mahmoud Abbas' recent participation at the late former Israeli President Shimon Peres' funeral. The human rights defender was documenting police violations at the protest when he reportedly used himself as a human shield to protect other peaceful protesters from the beatings of security forces. Mohannad Karajah was physically attacked by approximately ten members of the Israeli security forces dressed in plain clothes, and suffered serious blows to his face and head. He was transferred to the Palestine Medical Complex where he spent several hours, and was subsequently released. Mohannad Karajah intends to file a complaint against the security elements who gravely attacked him.
I condemn the physical attack against human rights defender Mohannad Karajah, as I believe the actions against him to be motivated by his legitimate and peaceful human rights activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
I urge the Palestinian authorities to:
1. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the assault against Mohannad Karajah, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
2. Take all necessary measures, in consultation with the defender, to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Mohannad Karajah;
3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in the Occupied Territories of Palestine are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment and smear campaigns.