«The Palestine Commitee of Norway is increasingly concerned about recent developments in Palestine restricting the right to free and public expression both in the West Bank and in Gaza,» says Leader Line Khateeb.
Nizar Banat, the well known Palestinian activist, was arrested by Palestinian security forces in the middle of the night, on June 24th. During his arrest and incarceration he was exposed to considerable violence and died a short time after being forcibly removed from his home.
Banat was an outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security co-operation with Israel and spoke openly of corruption within the PA. He was due to stand in the postponed election which should have taken place in May.
There have been several demonstrations in Palestinian towns in protest at Banat’s death and in support of freedom of speech where the PA have used police disguised as civilians to attack and physically abuse the peaceful protestors.
«People need a leadership that is truly representative. Palestinians are increasingly critical of the current leadership and are clamoring for a reform of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO),»says Khateeb.
«The Palestine Committee of Norway is fully supportive of the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom – freedom from the Israeli occupation and freedom to express their opinions freely. Both Hamas and the PA have been restricting the right of assembly and free and public expression. It is a worrying development, which takes us in a more authoritarian direction and does not serve the struggle for freedom and democracy.» says Khateeb.