Family of murdered activist Nizar Banat take Palestinian Authority to ICC
Earlier this year West Bank authorities ordered the release of security agents allegedly responsible for beating Banat to death
By News Desk - December 17 2022

File image. Maryam Banat, mother of Palestinian Authority (PA) outspoken critic Nizar Banat holds a poster with his picture while attending a rally protesting his death in the custody of PA security forces on 24 June 2021.(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

The legal team of the family of the late Palestinian activist Nizar Banat filed on 16 December a complaint against the Palestinian Authority (PA) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for alleged war crimes and torture.

Hakan Camuz, head of International Law at Stoke White, filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office regarding the murder of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat, who was beaten to death by PA security forces on 24 June, 2021.

The aim of the complaint is to investigate the “brutal death” of the activist, whose autopsy revealed that he had received blows, some of them to the head and neck. From the beginning, his family insisted that he was abused during his arrest.

“Nizar Banat was illegally arrested and tortured by the Palestinian Authority on eight different occasions. During the months preceding his murder, Nizar and his family were subjected to more and more threats and attacks. His house was attacked with bullets and grenades a few weeks before his assassination,” the legal team said in an statement reported by The News International.

In his outspoken social media videos, Banat was well-known for accusing the PA of corruption and criticizing its security cooperation with the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank.

“The trial began in the military court in Ramallah in September 2021, which is a violation of international law, which indicates that cases of human rights violations should be tried in civilian courts,” the lawyers have denounced.

Meanwhile, the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) determined that the PA is responsible for the torture and ill-treatment of civilians.

The CAT conducted several hearings during the investigation, discovering that the Palestinian National Security Forces frequently use lethal weapons when detaining or interrogating civilians.

CAT began its investigation on 12 July, concluding two weeks later with an official report. They urged the PA to conduct prompt and effective investigations into complaints involving public officials, and to prosecute and punish them with the appropriate penalties.

A poll conducted three months ago showed that only 26 percent of Palestinians are content with the management of Mahmoud Abbas as president of the PA, while 71 percent are not.

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