ICHR demands inquiry into death of Awad Sha’er of Rafah Refugee




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.