Death of PA detainee raises suspicions of torture

On 22 February 2008, the death of 44-year-old Majd Abdul-Aziz al-Barghouti was announced. He was a resident of Kobar village, located near the town of Ramallah, West Bank. Al-Barghouti was arrested on 14 February 2008, at the hands of the Palestinian General Intelligence in the West Bank.

According to the information retrieved by Al Mezan, al-Barghouti was arrested for political reasons and without observance of the legal process. He was not presented before a prosecutor or a judge after 24 hours of detention, as stipulated in Palestinian Penal Law.

The death of al-Barghouti at a detention center of the General Intelligence Apparatus evokes suspicion that requires a prompt investigation by the Attorney General. Although the forensic report, which was performed postmortem, confirmed that the cause of the death was the fault of the heart muscle. However, the report describes that there were signs of torture to the victim’s wrists and to his thigh, which had bruising. The report suggests torture was carried out against al-Barghouti,thereby requiring a thorough investigation into the circumstances of his death, his health conditions, and the reasons for his detention, location of detention, and the investigation procedures and its tools.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses its regret for the death of Majd al-Barghouti. Al Mezan calls on the Attorney General to open a serious investigation into the incident, and not to stop at knowing the cause of death, rather, to go beyond by examining the way he was arrested, the way he was treated inside the detention center, and his health condition. Al Mezan also calls for disseminating the results of the investigation in public and ensuring that those who violate the law are brought to justice.

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