News & Activites 31 March 2016
ICHR demands inquiry into death of Awad Sha’er of Rafah Refugee Camp
The Independent Commission for Human Rights(ICHR) is deeply concerned about the recent events which took place in Rafah Refugee Camp, southern Gaza Strip. It calls on the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Gaza Strip to investigate into the circumstances surrounding the death of Awad Saleem Jum’a Sha’er, 32, from Rafah Refugee Camp after sustaining a gunshot in his back at the hands of a member of the Interior Ministry’s Border Security and National Security. In the wake of the incident, another two people were wounded after the police dispersed them while protesting the killing of their family member. The policemen’s use of force and firearms is a flagrant violation of international standards.
According to ICHR’s follow ups, Sha’er was detained by members of the Border Security on November 11, 2017 in its Rafah headquarters. On Sunday, November 19, at about 9:40, a border authority force, with Sha’er handcuffed, drove to a plot of land of his, located in Kherbet Al-‘Adas neighborhood, north of Rafah. The force inspected the area. At about 10:10 A. M., Sha’er tried to flee from the place and ran around ten meters.
At that moment, a member of the force fired two shots in the air and then fired a gunshot at him and wounded him in the back. After falling on the ground, the members of the force rushed him in their car to Abu Yousuf Najjar Hospital, Rafah. There the doctors discovered he had succumbed to his injury. After that, some family members of Sha’er torched the vehicle of the force and assaulted the Emergency and Reception Department of the hospital, thus causing material damage and disrupted work in the department for six hours.
The commission also followed up on the events of Monday morning, Nov. 20, 2017. One special police force member, in charge of keeping order, fired shots in the air to disperse the protesters of family members of Sha’er, at intersections of Rafah, after burning tires against the backdrop of the death of their family member on the previous day. The confrontation with the police resulted in injury of a police force member and a family member of Sha’er.
The commission takes very seriously the tragic death of Sha’er and his family members’ vandalism of public property, using non-peaceful means, in an attempt to express their anger over the tragic death of their son. This subsequently led to injuries while the police were trying to disperse the protesters. In this context, the commission affirms that death during incarceration raises strong suspicion and therefore, it necessitates serious follow up and investigation by competent official parties.
In the light of this tragic incident, the commission demands the following:
The Public Prosecutor, in his capacity as the competent authority according to the Penal Procedural Law # 3 of 2001, should immediately and seriously investigate into the tragic death of Sha’er and publish the findings of the investigation and take all those involved in his death and those responsible for damage of public property to justice.
The Ministry of Interior and National Security should publish the results of the investigation surrounding the incident as soon as possible.
The law enforcers should abide by the rules of using force and firearms while performing their duties in accordance with the principles of necessity and proportion included in international and national agreements and standards.