The European Union Representative issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah. The Heads of Mission of Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom associate themselves with this statement.
On 21 and 22 August, Palestinian security forces arrested dozens of Palestinian activists in Ramallah who were taking part in protests calling for transparency in the investigation and for the prosecution of those responsible for the killing of the political activist Nizar Banat on 24 June 2021. While several arrested protesters were released on Sunday, some have been kept in custody.
These events, as well as reports of ill-treatment, are of concern and take place against the backdrop of reports of an increase in apparently politically motivated arrests by the Palestinian Authority over the past few months. The EU and like-minded missions firmly expect the Palestinian Authority to meet the standards of the International Human Rights conventions to which they have acceded, including on freedom of expression, as well as freedom of association and assembly.
Violence against peaceful human rights defenders, activists and protesters is unacceptable. The EU and like-minded missions call on the Palestinian Authority to swiftly conclude the investigation of the death of Nizar Banat in a fully transparent manner, and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.