* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
International *

3 January 2002
MDE 15/001/2002
1/02

The detention and beating of a prominent doctor and human rights
defender, and the beating of members of an international
delegation underlines the Israeli authorities' apparent disregard
for basic human rights during the current intifada, Amnesty
International said today.

Dr Mustafa Barghouti, President of the Union of
Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, was arrested on 2 January
2002 after a press conference with the participation of an
international delegation including Members of the European
Parliament (MEPs) and delegates from the USA and many European
countries.

 
Dr Barghouti was arrested as he left the conference --
where he had spoken about the disastrous impact on medical
treatment and care of the Israeli closures of towns and villages
in the Occupied Territories -- on the grounds that he had no
Israeli pass to enter Jerusalem, where he was born. He was
released at al-Ram checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah
after four hours' detention at the Moscobiyeh Detention Centre in
Jerusalem.

The beating by Israeli border police took place later
that day at the al-Ram checkpoint as international delegates
protested at attempts to rearrest Dr Barghouti. Dr Barghouti  was
released after an hour, with a fractured kneecap and various
lacerations and bruises on his face and body. Some international
delegates, including Italian MEP Luisa Morgantini, suffered
bruises and other injuries.

"Dr Mustafa Barghouti, who has a world-wide reputation,
has been released. However, he is not the first human rights
activist to be ill-treated and arrested -- others remain under
administrative detention orders which allow indefinite detention
without charge or trial," added the organization.

These include >Abed al-Rahman al-Ahmar, a fieldworker for
the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, who was arrested
in Jerusalem in May 2001 because he had no pass, and Daoud
al-Dar'awi, a staff member of the Palestinian Independent
Commission for Citizens' Rights, arrested in September 2001, who
was placed under administrative detention in October immediately
after a judge ordered his release on bail. >Abed al-Rahman
al-Ahmar said he was beaten after arrest and both were reportedly
subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation in painful positions
under interrogation.

"The Israeli army responsible for the beating of Dr
Barghouti and international delegates is also responsible for
repeatedly shooting and killing Palestinians at checkpoints and
during demonstrations when the lives of others were not in
danger," Amnesty International said.

More than 700 Palestinians -- including more than 160
children -- have been killed by Israeli security forces since
October 2000. Most of these were unlawful killings, yet only the
killings of 13 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship in September
and October 2000  are being properly investigated.

"The failure to hold proper investigations into every
killing has created an atmosphere where nervous or reckless
members of the security forces kill or injure Palestinians with
impunity," Amnesty International added.

"A new mindset which fully respects human rights will
not come into being unless all killings, injuries, instances of
ill-treatment and other human rights violations are considered
important and adequately investigated," the organization warned.
 

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