ICHR Meets with The Prime Minister, Dr. Rami Hamdallah

Ramallah—Prime Minister, Dr. Rami Hamdallah, met with a delegation from the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), which included Dr. Ahmad Harb, ICHR's Commissioner General, Dr. Mamdouh Aker, a member of the Board of Commissioners, Ms. Randa Siniora, Executive Director, and Gandhi Rabiya, Director of National Policies and Legislation.

The meeting addressed several issues related to the human rights situation for Palestinians and the areas that need addresssing. The most pressing issues included lack of follow-up by official authorities in cases where proper legal procedures were not adhered to during arrests and searches. Other related issues were abitrary detention, especially detentions executed pending local governors' arbitrary use of conservative powers. These issues were heavily emphasized due to the fact that 2013 observed an increase in proportion of these illegalities. Other issues included delay and/or non-implementation of court decisions, especially administrative decisions, which pose problems for the judicary's prestige and undermines the confidence of the Palestinian citizens in the presence of an independent Palestinian judiciary.

The meeting also addressed cases of torture inside detention centers. Data avaliable to the Commission indicated a rise in cases of torture during the year 2013. In these cases, the application of the principle of accountability is required among those found to be involved in the practice of torture inside the detention centers. It was emphasized that there is a need to inform the Commission on procedures and the results of investigations carried out by the security services operating in the detention centers.

Prime Minister, Dr. Rami Hamdallah, confirmed and emphasized the importance of partnership with the ICHR on the issue of Palestinians' human rights and the follow-up of violations against citizens. Moreoever, Hamdallah noted that the role of the Commission is to 'follow up on all cases brought to the Commission, and to ensure the accuracy of information provided by the Palestinian Authority to state institutions'. The prime minister expressed interest in the ICHR briefing him on all periodic reports and bringing important details to his attention to assist in ensuring correctness, providing legal follow-up and taking necessary action.

With regard to the state's financial contribution to ICHR's buget as a state institution, the prime minister expressed great interest in this matter and it was noted that the state's contribution has been accounted for in the Commission's budget for the year 2014. The prime minister emphasized his interest to personally following up on all of the issues discussed as they are important to ensure and maintain human rights in Palestine. Such human rights issues are essential as they form the basis for building an independent state, which is a priority of the government in seeking to achieve and maintain security.