Complaints Handling

Patterns of Human Rights Violations:

-No. of Complaints Received (2012)
-Comparing the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
-Comparing 2011 and 2012
-Complaints Against Civil Authorities vs. Security Authorities
-Manner of Receiving Complaints
-Geographic Distribution of Complaints (by regional offices)

Complaints by Type of Violation:

-Right to Due Process
-Right to Holding Public Office
-Torture and Cruel, Inhumane Treatment
-Respect for Court Rulings
-Abuse of Power
-Right to Peaceful Assembly
-Right to Free Movement, Travel and Residence
-Women
-Children
-Persons with Disabilities

Patterns of Human Rights Violations
Based on Complaints Filed to ICHR During 2012

No. of Complaints Received (2012)

ICHR noticed through the complaints it received in 2012 that a number of the patterns of violations monitored during previous years continued at a different pace. In 2012, it received (3185) complaints compared to (2876) complaints in 2011 and (3828) complaints in 2010. The 2012 complaints are related to violations of human rights and public freedoms by the security agencies and\or civil institutions of the PNA in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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Comparing the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

These complaints were distributed between the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2012 as (2373) complaints in the West Bank, (812) in the Gaza Strip. In 2011, ICHR received (2876) complaints, with (2045) from the West Bank and (831) from the Gaza Strip.

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Comparing 2011 and 2012

The number of complaints received in 2012 increased by (10%) or (309 additional) complaints compared to 2011.

 

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Complaints Against Civil Authorities vs. Security Authorities

Classifying complaints in terms of the authority they are filed against indicate that they are filed against the civil authorities and the security authorities. In 2012, the number of complaints filed against the civil authorities reached (1622), (51%) of the total number of the complaints filed to ICHR, compared to ((1147), (39%) in 2011. In 2010, the rate of complaints filed to ICHR against civil authorities reached (28%).

With regard to the number of complaints filed against the security agencies in 2012, it reached (1563), or (49%) of the total number of complaints received compared to (1702), (61%) in 2011. In 2010, the rate of complaints filed to ICHR against the security agencies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The data indicates that the rate of complaints filed against civil authorities in 2012 increased compared with those filed against the security agencies. This shows the difference between the complaints filed this year from those filed in the previous years as they used to be much more against the security agencies. The reason for that is ICHR's attitude to receive more complaints related to disability and civil rights and the slight decline in the rate of violations perpetrated by security agencies

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A comparison of the last three years with respect to civil and security complaints

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Manner of Complaints Received

The way these complaints divide up are as follows: (534) complaints were submitted directly to ICHR's office by the persons concerned themselves or through its field researchers; (2254) complaints were received by ICHR's field researchers making visits to citizens' homes and detention centers; (395) complaints were received through ICHR's researchers in its regional offices.

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Geographic Distribution of Complaints Received

Complaints distributed by ICHR's offices in 2012: South Office (1031) complaints; Middle Office (765) complaints; North Office (477) complaints; Khan Younis Office (450) complaints; Gaza City and North Office (362) complaints

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Complaints by Type of Violation
Based on Complaints Filed to ICHR During 2012

Violations of the Right to Due Process of Law

In 2012, ICHR documented (789) complaints of violations of the right to due process of law, with (563) in the West Bank and (226) in the Gaza Strip, compared to (1026) complaints, (755) in the West Bank and (271) in the Gaza Strip in 2011. In 2010, it received (1880) similar complaints with (1559) complaints in the West Bank and (321) complaints in the Gaza Strip. These complaints were filed against the different security agencies (Preventive Security, General Intelligence, Military Intelligence) in the West Bank and the Internal Security Agency of the Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip. Compared to the past two years, the number of such complaints received in 2012 decreased as shown below:

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Violations of the Right to Holding Public Office

Several complaints related to the rights of public sector servants were received by ICHR in 2012. These violations included allegations of violations of administrative, financial and pension rights. Some of them also were related to arbitrary dismissal of some employees based on the "security clearance condition" which was in effect in 2011 but abolished in 2012. Some positive changes have taken place in relation to this theme:

- Security clearance condition were abolished in regard to appointments and employment. The cases of security clearance-based arbitrary dismissal remained limited to the complaints filed during the years prior to the decision of the Council of Ministers to abolish that condition.

- Palestine's High Court of Justice decided, due to the efforts of ICHR, to reinstate all those who were unlawfully dismissed from their jobs.

ICHR registered (574) complaints related to violations of the right to hold public office and the right to promotion and financial allowance during the period of employment. In 2011, it received (456) similar complaints.

The following figure shows the complaints received by ICHR this year compared to previous years:

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With regard to the cases of persons who were not appointed due security clearance conditions, ICHR addressed the Ministry of Education. The ministry typically replied that the complainants should enter competition with other applicants in accordance with its system.

In 2102, ICHR paid much attention, through the national inquiry it started in 2011 through 2012, to the right of PWDs to hold public office. Despite the diversity of replies received by ICHR from the relevant authorities to justify their practices with regard to citizens' rights to hold public office, they all attributed their practices to security clearance conditions or agreements of the security agencies. Complainants' statements showed that their applications for work were discarded because security agencies rejected them due to their political affiliation or political views.

Following the abolition of the security clearance condition, the applicants who were rejected in the past were allowed to re-enter competition with new applicants according to the system of the Ministry of Education.

Violations of the Right not to be Subjected to Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment During Detention

In 2012, ICHR continued to receive complaints related to violations of the right to security of person and humane treatment during detention or interrogation by the competent authorities.

In 2012, ICHR received several complaints regarding violations of the right to physical safety in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These complaints included (249) allegations of torture, with (134) in the Gaza Strip, and (160) in the West Bank; (52) allegations of cruel and inhuman treatment in detention, with (13) in the Gaza Strip, and (39) in the West Bank; (156) allegations of physical and psychological assaults, (64) in the Gaza Strip, and (92) in the West Bank. By comparison, in 2011, ICHR received (214) allegations of torture, (85) allegations of cruel and inhuman treatment in detention and (204) allegations of physical and psychological assaults. The number of allegations of torture filed to ICHR in 2012 increased noticeably compared with 2011, an increase of just over 15%.

The following table shows the number of complaints received by ICHR in 2012 and their distribution among the security agencies:

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The periodic reports made by ICHR following its regular visits to the detention centers show that many detainees held in the Detention Centers of the Preventive Security and Investigation Centers of the General Intelligence, were subjected to torture, inhuman treatment and physical attacks.

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Violations of the Right for Courts' Rulings to be Respected

In 2012, the official authorities continued to violate the right to respect courts' rulings. ICHR registered, based on the complaints filed to it, (102) violations in this respect, compared to (131) violations in 2011 and (181) in 2010. The competent authorities continued to commit such violations though Palestinian Basic Law emphasized that the rulings of the Palestinian courts should be enforced, and refraining from doing so is punishable by imprisonment, or dismissal from public office if the perpetrator is a public sector employee.

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Abuse of power

ICHR registered (245) violations in this regard with (201) violations in the West Bank and (44) violations in the Gaza Strip, compared to (287) violations in 2011 and (300) violations in 2010. These violations were perpetrated by civil and security authorities. For example, the security authorities conducted search, expropriation of citizens' property, abolition of lisences, seizure of IDs, passports and health insurance cards without legal warrant.

Violations of the Right to Peaceful Assembly

In 2012, ICHR documented (71) violations of the right to peaceful assembly, with (60) violations in the West Bank and (11) in the Gaza Strip, compared to (85) violations in 2011.

Violations of the Right to Freedom of Movement, Travel and Residence

In 2012, it was noticed that most of the violations of this right were concentrated in the Gaza Strip. ICHR received (25) complaints of such violations, with (24) in the Gaza Strip and (1) in the West Bank, compared to (48) complaints in 2011. These complaints included allegations of violations of the right to movement and travel or restriction of this right by the security agencies of the Ministry of Interior in Gaza Strip without a judicial warrant. The complainants claimed that the security personnel stationed on Rafah Crossing prohibited them from passing through the crossing to Egypt. Likewise, the MoI in Ramallah refused to issue or renew passport books to citizens of the Gaza Strip.

Women

In 2012, ICHR received (459) complaints from women, distributed as follows: (108) complaints submitted by women and (351) submitted by persons on behalf of women.

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The complaints filed by women distributed according to type of violation are as follows:

- (118) violations of the right to hold public office and the right of public sector servants to promotions, pensions and other financial rights;

- (57) violations of the right to social security;

- (49) violations of the rights of persons with disabilities;

- (28) violations of executing a legal obligation.

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Children

In 2012, ICHR received (266) complaints, distributed as follows:

- (141) complaints filed by children themselves;

- (125) complaints filed by families on behalf of their children.

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Complaints of children

The complaints filed by children are distributed according to type of violation and are as follows:

- (103) violations of the right to categorize inmates and transfer them to care homes accordingly;

- (71) violations of the right of the child to protection from exploitation and abuse;

- (38) violations of the right to physical safety and protection from torture and ill treatment.

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Persons with Disabilities

In 2012, ICHR received (273) complaints from male and female PWD complainants as follows:

- (107) complaints filed by females;

- (166) complaints filed by males.

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