The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is gravely concerned by and wishes to highlight the repeated summonsing and detention of dozens of Fatah activists by the Internal Security Service (ISS) in Gaza, as well as the confiscation of some of these activists’ passports.PCHR calls upon the government in Gaza to refrain from summonsing Fatah members and detaining them in degrading conditions. PCHR also calls for the immediate release of all the political prisoners.

During the last few weeks, PCHR has received dozens of complaints and testimonies from Fatah activists, including women, who were repeatedly summonsed and detained in the Gaza Strip.

According to data made available to PCHR, in late May and during June, ISS has summonsed Fatah activists and required them to appear before the ISS in their local areas. In their testimonies, those summonsed reported that they arrived at ISS as instructed, where they were held from the morning until the evening.

Some of the activists were placed under interrogation with regard to their activities with the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, which, they were informed, is banned in the Gaza Strip along with Fatah activities. The activists stated that they were held in iron containers under very hot conditions or in poorly ventilated cells.

A number of the activists stressed to the PCHR fieldworker that they were held in bad smelling restrooms for several hours. Those activists giving testimonies said that following each episode of detention they were served a new summons to appear before the ISS on the following day or few days later, at the latest, and that they were held in the same conditions every time.

According to PCHR documentation, the latest summons were served on Thursday, 1 July 2010, and Friday, 2 July 2010, to more than fifty Fatah activists, including women, in Rafah and northern Gaza. Those summonsed were required to appear before the ISS with their passports on Saturday in their local areas.

When they arrived at the ISS offices, the activists were held for several hours and the ISS members confiscated their passports, ostensibly to prevent them from traveling.

In view of the above, PCHR calls upon the government in Gaza to refrain from summonsing activists from Fatah movement and detaining them in degrading conditions.

The Centre also demands the immediate release of the detained persons and the reconsideration of the confiscation of passports and other measures taken to restrict the right to freedom of movement, which is guaranteed under the Palestinian Basic Law and other international human rights legal codes.