Security forces of the rival Palestinian governments routinely use torture and arbitrary arrests, among other tactics, to quash dissent by peaceful activists and political opponents, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.
The report, titled “Palestine: Authorities Crush Dissent,” was comprised over the course of two years, while investigating 86 different cases of human rights violations. and is based on 147 different interviews with both former detainees and Palestinian lawyers. Upon concluding the report, HMW asserted that the Palestinian authorities “routinely arrest people whose peaceful speech displeases them and torture those in their custody,” adding that both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas “carried out scores of arbitrary arrests for peaceful criticism of the authorities, particularly on social media, among independent journalists, on university campuses, and at demonstrations.”
According to the report, Palestinian authorities have carried out dozens of arrests for critical posts on social media platforms, “which Palestinians increasingly rely on to share their views, connect with one another, and organize activities.”