Target: Palestinian Authorities
Goal: Conduct a full and impartial investigation of police officers involved in the Ramallah protest
A demonstration in the city of Ramallah, Palestine grew violent as regular and riot police blocked protesters’ path. Hundreds of people had gathered in downtown Ramallah to demonstrate against the final status talks between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Israel. The conflict escalated when police prevented some protesters from entering the West Bank area.
Peaceful demonstrators turned aggressive as they first flung sticks and then stones into police forces. The police retaliated with excessive aggression. Many who still demonstrated peacefully were struck with batons and a member of parliament was struck to the ground and then beaten. A middle-aged woman also became the target of their batons. Those who were flinging rocks at the police were urged to stop by other demonstrators; some even placed olive branches in front of the police to convey a message of peace. However the police continued with their violence, entering a hospital to arrest three patients who were in critical care. Ten people were injured, five were arrested, including the ones taken from the hospital. Only one policemen was reported to be injured enough to require hospital care.
Footage of the police brutality can be found on Facebook and on Youtube, one showing police beating a demonstrator. Others who were a part of the event also posted scathing remarks on their Facebook page. “Enjoy this video in which Palestinian forces exercise their legal right to break the heads [of] a mob […].”
United Nation laws dictate that law enforcement shall carry out their duties as far as possible with nonviolent means, and only use aggression when nonviolent means can do nothing to withhold the peace. The police had no right to block the demonstrators’ path and they had no right to call on riot forces when the event had not even escalated. The demonstration could have taken place peacefully if the police had not shown up or acted violently. Unfortunately this event is not the first example of police brutality; there have been numerous reports of beatings during protests and demonstrations. Sign this petition and demand the Palestinian Authorities conduct a full and impartial investigation into the police force.
Dear Palestinian Authorities,
I implore you to conduct a full and impartial investigation into your police force. It has come to my attention that citizens have suffered at the hands of police brutality especially during peaceful protests and demonstrations. The police force has also taken hospital patients receiving critical care into custody, often with force. These incidents are reoccurring events in the city of Ramallah, and they shouldn’t be.
Police shouldn’t block the path of protesters; they are meant to be there to keep the peace. Riot forces shouldn’t be called in unless the event has turned violent and they should not be present before the demonstration even started. Those who beat up innocent civilians should be fired from the force, put on trial and punished for their crimes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dombroski via flickr