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Monday, April 12, 2010

Freedom of assembly, Gaza-style

From the Palestinian Center for Human Rights:
PCHR commemorates the Palestinian Prisoners Day on 17 April each year...

As part of PCHR’s preparations to organize these activities, PCHR’s Public Relations Officer in Khan Yunis, Mr. Abdul Halim Abu Samra, wanted to book the hall of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and make other necessary preparations. However, PCHR was surprised by the PRCS's refusal to book the hall for PCHR without an official permission from security services to organize the planned seminar. ... Abu Samra phoned the PRCS managing director who said that they received verbal orders from the Internal Security Service not to book any of the PRCS's halls to organize any activities without presenting permits issued the chief of police and that they would be held responsible in case of violating these orders.
In other words, no meeting can occur in Gaza for any reason without Hamas' explicit permission. Also, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society happily complies with Hamas' demands not to allow its facilities to be used without police permission.

And this is for a meeting meant to bash Israel!

Will we be hearing condemnations of Hamas from its left-wing, trendy friends for violating the basic principles of freedom and for pressuring the Red Crescent to comply with illegal orders?

The Magic 8-Ball says "highly unlikely."