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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hamas keeps curtailing human rights; world keeps ignoring it (updated)

Here are some recent violations of human rights by Hamas that you will not find mentioned in the New York Times, Reuters, the Guardian or pretty much anywhere else.

This week, Hamas prevented Gaza journalists from participating in a video-conference with their West Bank counterparts and a delegation of the International Federation of Journalists in Ramallah.

Hamas shut down a restaurant/cafe called Al-Orient House because it was sponsoring concerts and other events for both men and women.

A cultural evening hosted by the Film Forum at the Samak restaurant, scheduled to be held on September 7, was shut down despite the organizers already having obtained a permit. Two of the organizers were arrested and forced to sign a pledge not to host any similar events.

On September 12th, a cultural evening organized by the Alumni Association of various Gaza community colleges was forced to end when Hamas shut it down.

The "Crazy Water Park" was shut down twice, once for three days in August and once in September. The August closing was because of "raucous concerts" but no reason was given for the more recent closing, in effect for 21 days.

Other recent closings included the Equestrian Club and the Sama Gaza coffee shop, the latter because of "mixing and hookah-smoking women."

Wow...sounds like maybe Gazans really are living in an open-air prison, with Hamas acting as the warden. Not that you will hear any well-known activists say that.

UPDATE: Hamas closed a restaurant Wednesday because a woman was smoking a water pipe.