We demand an independent investigation into the murder of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat by the Palestinian police
On June 24, Nizar Banat, a Palestinian anti-corruption and human rights activist, was arrested, probably beaten, tortured and murdered by the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces.
The International Labor Network of Solidarity and Struggle joins the grief, indignation, protests and other initiatives of the Palestinian population and Palestinian human rights defenders against these flagrant violations of international conventions by the PA.
We join their call for an independent investigation to determine the responsibility of those who ordered and carried out this crime, and to hold those responsible to account.
We strongly condemn this assassination, just as we condemn the heavy-handed repression by the security forces against Palestinian civil society. Palestinians have complained for years about repeated violations of their human, political and social rights by the PA, which some seem to be discovering today.
We recognise that such violations are facilitated by a state structure, the Palestinian Authority, which has lost all accountability to its people. Following the Oslo Accords, the PA has no military, political or financial sovereignty, and only exercises interim power over bits of territory.
President Mahmoud Abbas should have put his mandate on the line in 2009, but for the past 12 years he has been kept in power by Israel and the Western powers to prevent a less conciliatory leader from replacing him. Such a condition leads to his impunity, and that of his police who works hand in hand with the Israeli secret services.
These are the same Western powers that finance and train the security forces of the PA, and who are therefore indirectly complicit in the assassination of Nizar Banat, but also of other activists before him such as Omar Nayef, Ahmed Halawa or Bassel el Araj.
To put an end to this complicity of States, institutions and companies with the corruption of the PA, but also with the Israeli military occupation which is at the origin of it, the International Labor Network of Solidarity and Struggle also calls for the reinforcement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israeli apartheid.
The dismantling of the occupation, the settlements, the Apartheid Wall and the blockade of Gaza are prerequisites for the realisation of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian population for democratic representation and genuine self-determination. These are the conditions that will ensure protection and genuine freedom of expression, including political expression, for Palestinians.