Last update - 19:34 25/03/2009     

      Rights group: Hamas tortured Gaza inmate to death  
      By Reuters  
      Tags: Gaza, Israel News, Hamas  

      The Hamas-run police force in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday it was 
investigating the death of a prisoner after a Palestinian human rights group 
said the inmate was tortured and beaten to death during interrogation. 

      The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) said one of its 
researchers had seen marks on the hands and legs of the inmate, Jamil Assaf, 
indicating he had been tortured in jail. 

      Assaf was detained by police on March 9 and died in Gaza's main hospital 
on Tuesday. The ICHR said he was suffering from kidney failure after a beating. 

      Assaf's death was the second of a prisoner in a Hamas jail in Gaza this 
month, the ICHR added. 

      Islam Shahwan, a police spokesman in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, said 
police were investigating Assaf's death. 

      "If it was proven that Assaf died as a result of torture, those proven to 
have been involved in the incident will suffer maximum punishment," Shahwan 

      In its annual report last Thursday, the ICHR said Hamas-run security 
forces in the Gaza Strip and those loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah 
faction in the West Bank have tortured prisoners. 

      The two rival movements have said standing orders prohibit the 
mistreatment of detainees. Hamas Islamists wrested control of the Gaza Strip 
from Fatah forces in 2007. 




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