The European Union Representative issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah.
On 20 November, Palestinian security forces arrested the activist Nizar Banat after the publication of a video in which he criticised the Palestinian Authority. Following a court decision on 23 November ordering his release, Nizar Banat was set free on 24 November after spending four days in the detention facilities in Jericho, where the treatment of detainees is a cause of concern. The Palestinian Authority remains responsible for upholding human rights in the areas where it is able to exercise control.
The EU firmly opposes actions aimed at limiting the space in which civil society and media can operate and expects the Palestinian Authorities to meet the standards of the International Human Rights conventions to which they have acceded in order to ensure that human rights, including the freedom of expression of Palestinian citizens, are preserved. In line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the EU stands firm in its support of freedom of expression, including via social media, freedom of association and freedom of assembly.
The meeting of the EU-Palestine Subcommittee on Human Rights, Good Governance and Rule of Law today provided a good platform for an open and constructive dialogue with the Palestinian Authorities on these issues. The EU remains fully committed in its support towards a democratic Palestinian State based on the rule of law and respect of human rights.
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