2014 the "worst so far" for civil and political rights
Graphic: Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights
Public rights and freedoms retreated considerably in 2014, the Independent Commission for Human Rights said in its annual report.
The status of human rights in 2014 was the worst so far in relation to civil and political rights despite Palestine acceding to several international human rights conventions, according to the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR).
Releasing its 20th Annual Report on 12 May 2015, the ICHR said it had been "optimistic" about efforts to end the internal political divide between the Fatah and Hamas movements, which culminated in the signing of the Al-Shati Agreement and the formation of a national consensus government in June.
"However, the status of human rights in the Palestinian controlled territory did not improve. In fact, public rights and freedoms retreated considerably," the ICHR said.
"The security agencies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip lack any political references or accountability and are free to act without oversight. They have detained citizens without legal charges, engaged in torture and ill-treatment, and repressed rights and freedoms, including the freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and to form associations."
Another focus of this year's report was the Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip, "which caused huge human and material destruction". It also examined the impact of the continuing Israeli occupation on the rights of the human rights of Palestinians.
"These policies undermined the ability of the Palestinian National Authority to fulfil its responsibilities to protect and promote the rights of its citizens," the ICHR said.
The report includes a section on economic, social and cultural rights, which has been a key area of the ICHR's monitoring work over the past year.
"We believe that human beings are the main pillar of sustainable development, and thus, a lack of respect for inherent human dignity and the exercise of human rights make any discussion about sustainable development meaningless," the ICHR said.
The report also discusses the status of women's rights, including the right to life and the right to protection from gender-based violence.
"We hope that the recommendations given at the end of each chapter of this report will be taken seriously by decision makers, law enforcement bodies and other duty bearers," the ICHR said.
An Executive Summary of the 20th Annual Report is available on the ICHR's website.
Date: 15 May 2015
- Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights - Palestine Independent Commission for Human Rights