Ramallah\ The Independent Commission for Human rights “Ombudsman” presented today its 17th annual report on the status of human rights in the Palestinian controlled territory (PCT) during 2011 to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in compliance with article (31) of the Palestinian amended basic law of 2003.
The report was presented by the General Commissioner of ICHR Dr. Ahmad Harb who affirmed the importance of the role of PLC.
Dr. Harb said that ‘had the PLC received the report with all its committees and structures functioning, it would have reflected the great Palestinian democracy.
The disruption of the PLC disrupted a significant pillar of monitoring, legislature and accountability that constitute ICHR’s principles aimed at maintaining and protecting the human rights of the Palestinians, noted Dr. Harb.
He added that the Israeli occupation is the major abuser of human rights of the Palestinians, explaining that the violations it committed during 2011 sound unprecedented accelerating settlement building with the purpose of expelling the Palestinians and threatening their existence.
Concerning reconciliation, Dr. Harb stressed that the nature and patterns of violations are connected in a way or another with the reconciliation horizons warning that the system of human rights should not be taken hostage to political polarization, given the impact of that on public freedoms and freedom of press which were indeed connected with the political divide between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
He also stressed the necessity of holding local, legislative and presidential election which constitutes, according to ICHR’s view, a constitutional right.
He explained that if it is not possible to hold legislative and presidential election, there is nothing that prohibits local and municipal election.
Executive Director of ICHR, Randa Siniora presented, for her part, the main points of the report, especially those related to the judiciary and non-implementation of courts’ rulings.
She noted that this file would be turned over in the very near future due to the effort made by ICHR and the positive response it received from President Mahmoud Abbas and PNA’s officials in this respect.
She also discussed the status of human rights during 20011 based on the complaints filed with ICHR and stressed the necessity of taking sufficient measures to investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment, developing independent mechanisms for monitoring the performance of the security agencies and holding perpetrators of torture accountable and not limiting punitive measures to disciplinary and administrative levels without applying criminal penalties.
Head of Fatah Parliamentary Bloc Azzam al-Ahmad commended for his part the performance of ICHR and stressed the importance of its programs and activities which aim to protect the rights of the Palestinian citizens.
He stressed the continuing and permanent cooperation between PLC and ICHR stating that the protection of human rights and accurate application of relevant concepts requires the creation of the independent Palestinian state; especially PNA has started building the institutions of this state even before it is established.
Such a step, al-Ahmad noted, requires from all of us to work together towards ending the occupation and the political divide to enable the Palestinian citizens to enjoy their rights.
Both the delegation of ICHR and MPs agreed to hold a special meeting in the foreseeable future to discuss the content of the report.