- Title: Family of Abbas critic demand investigation into his death in Hebron
- Date: 28th June 2021
- Summary: HEBRON, WEST BANK (JUNE 28, 2021) (REUTERS) FATHER OF NIZAR BANAT, KHALIL BANAT AND BROTHER GHASSAN BANAT DURING A NEWS CONFERENCE PICTURE OF NIZAR BANAT, ONE OF PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS'S BIGGEST CRITICS, WHO DIED IN CUSTODY FAMILY OF BANAT DURING CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BROTHER GHASSAN BANAT, SAYING: "We reject this (investigation) committee and we reject its outcomes, because what is built on falsehoods is false. Nizar is not only the son of the Banat family and his issue is not only relevant in the West Bank and in Palestine. His case has now spread all over the world, you don't simply bring a minister from here or there. We want a (investigative) committee formed that includes international organisations." SON OF NIZAR BANAT MOTHER OF NIZAR HOLDING HIS DAUGHTER WHO IS WEARING A YELLOW SHIRT, SITTING NEAR THE WIFE OF BANAT WHO IS HOLDING THEIR BABY GIRL VARIOUS OF NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 12th July 2021 18:49
- Keywords: Mahmoud Abbas Nizar Banat Palestinians critic protests
- Location: HEBRON, WEST BANK
- City: HEBRON, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001EJBGTHJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The family of Nizar Banat, one of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's biggest critics who died in police custody, said on Monday (June 28) said they hold the president and the prime minister responsible for his death.
Nizar Banat had been arrested by Palestinian Authorities (PA) forces who broke into a relative's house where he was staying in the early hours of Thursday and hit him repeatedly with a metal rod before arresting him, according to Banat's family.
Banat's death has sparked anger in the occupied West Bank and has seen growing calls from the international community for an inquiry.
Hours after his death, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, an Abbas appointee, ordered the formation of an investigation committee into Banat's death.
The spokesman for the PA security services, Talal Dweikat, said the committee investigating Banat's death had begun its work and urged people to wait for the results.
Hundreds of angry youths joined the demonstration in Ramallah and Bethlehem in the West Bank since Thursday, protesting and calling for 'Abbas to step down'; while police fired tear gas and scuffles broke out amongst the crowds.
Banat, 43, was a social activist who had accused Abbas's PA of corruption, including over a short-lived COVID-19 vaccine exchange with Israel this month and Abbas's postponement of a long-delayed election in May. Banat had registered as a parliamentary candidate for that contest.
Abbas regularly arrests his critics, human rights groups say, and has ruled the PA by decree for well over a decade.
The PA rejects accusations it is corrupt and that it arrests people for their political views. It also denies torture.
(Production: Yosri Al-Jamal, Roleen Tafakji)
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