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October 4, 2012 8:11 pm

Human Rights Watch Condemns Hamas Abuses

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The Human Rights Watch logo. Photo: Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch has released a 43-page report titled “Abusive System” in which it accuses Hamas, the internationally labeled terrorist group which governs the Gaza Strip, of corruption and human rights abuses such as arbitrary arrests, torture and unfair trials.

Gaza’s “criminal justice system reeks of injustice, routinely violates detainees’ rights, and grants impunity to abusive security services…Hamas should stop the kinds of abuses that Egyptians, Syrians and others in the region have risked their lives to bring to an end,” said Joe Stork, the deputy Middle East director of Human Rights Watch, according to the New York Times.

The report detailed seven alleged abuse cases. In one case, Abdel Karim Shrair was arrested in July 2008 and executed by firing squad in May 2011. Shrair’s lawyers say he was tortured for three weeks. The Human Rights Watch report finished with a call to cease all capital punishment in Gaza and all prosecutions of civilians in military courts.

Hamas representatives called the report politically charged and said the group has fired or disciplined 120 employees for abusing prisoners. They also transferred the blame to Israel. The report ignores “the siege and the crimes” of the Jewish state, said Islam Shahwan, a spokesman for Hamas’s Interior Ministry.

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