Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gaza: Suspicious Death in Custody

Hamas Should Come Clean About Detainee’s Death

April 26, 2011

"(Jerusalem) - Hamas authorities in Gaza should order a criminal investigation into the death of a man whose body was returned to his family five days after Hamas security officials arrested him, Human Rights Watch said today.

Relatives of ‘Adel Razeq, a 52-year-old father of nine, told Human Rights Watch that when security officials arrested him on April 14, 2011, they did not present a warrant and took him away under false pretenses. Security officials would not tell his family where he was being held. When his brother examined the body, it was badly bruised and appeared to have broken bones, he told Human Rights Watch. That, if true, would cast doubt on a Hamas Interior Ministry statement that Razeq died of an unspecified illness.

"The evidence raises concern that governmental authorities may have caused or contributed to the death of a man in their custody," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Hamas should order a fully independent criminal investigation."

Razeq's family told Human Rights Watch that Gaza government authorities refused their request to have an independent physician conduct an autopsy. The family stressed to Human Rights Watch that Razeq had been in good health when he was detained...."

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