Prime Minister Meets with Delegation of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR)

Ramallah - Dr. Salam Fayyad, Palestinian Prime Minister met today with a delegation of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR). The delegation included Dr. Ahmad Harb, Commissioner-General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Dr. Mamdouh Aker, Dr. Cairo Arafat, Dr. Kamil Mansour, and Mr. Raja Shehadeh, members of the Board of Commissioners, and Mrs. Randa Siniora, Executive Director of the Commission.

The meeting addressed a number of issues relating to the status of human rights that still needs solutions and rebounds by official bodies and follow legal procedures in respect thereof, as the case on the issue of delay and non-implementation of court decisions, especially administrative decisions. This constitutes a violation of the prestige of the Palestinian judiciary and weakens citizens' confidence in the presence of an independent Palestinian judiciary. The mechanism adopted with regard to implementing the Supreme Court of Justice's decision regarding the dismissed teachers was given significant importance. During the meeting, Dr. Fayyad confirmed the fact that he issued direct instructions to the Minister of Education to begin immediately the implementation of the court's decision taken against the dismissed teachers, saying that the court decision is final and enforceable.

With regard to the recent arrest campaign carried out by the Palestinian Security Services in the West Bank, the Commission expressed its concern about the failure to follow legal procedures stipulated by law during inspections, arrests and detentions, in addition to the detention of those arrested in illegal places and in inappropriate conditions. The Commission approached the Public Prosecutor emphasizing the need to perform its mandated role when arresting citizens, oversee detentions carried out by the Security Services to ensure its legality, take the necessary measures to provide decent and appropriate conditions of detention, and the need for the Security Services to provide the Commission as quickly as possible with the lists of detainees and facilitate their visit to see the conditions of their detention closely.

Furthermore, the meeting addressed cases of torture in the detention centers. The data available by the Commission indicates the high incidence of torture this year, which requires the application of the principle of accountability among those found to be involved in practicing torture in these centers. It has also been emphasized the need to inform the Commission of the procedures and findings of the investigations carried out by the Security Services in cases of torture in the arrest and detention centers, and the need for training workshops to develop the investigation techniques in accordance with international and humanitarian standards.

The meeting also dealt with the need to affirm the PA financial contribution to the Commission, in accordance with the law, as well as the PA commitment to its financial obligations to help support the Commission's budget being as a state institution.

Dr. Fayyad promised to follow up on all the issues that have been discussed in the meeting for its importance to ensure and preserve human rights. This is due to the fact that human rights issues are important and fundamental pillar in the process of building an independent state. It has also been emphasized that human rights issues are among the priorities that the government is trying to achieve and ensure their safety. He expressed his appreciation for the role played by the Commission in the protection and promotion of human rights in Palestine.