Carter Center Calls on Palestinian Authority to Halt Crackdown on Political Opponents

ATLANTA (June 24, 2021) — On June 24, Palestinian political activist Nizar Banat died when Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces raided his home in Hebron in the southern West Bank. According to his family, PA security officers used explosives to blow open the door of Banat’s residence, pepper-sprayed him, and violently beat him.

Banat was a sharp critic of the PA and a candidate on the Freedom and Dignity list for the cancelled May 22 legislative elections. In the past month, PA security forces have detained dozens of political opponents, including human rights defender Issa Amro and members of another electoral list, the Democratic Reform Bloc, for criticizing the Palestinian Authority. The government has justified some detentions under the cybercrimes law, which human rights groups have constantly warned is being used by the PA to squeeze online freedom of expression.

The Carter Center calls on the Palestinian Authority to end its crackdown on political opponents and refrain from any actions that restrict the fundamental freedoms of Palestinian citizens, including their rights of assembly and expression.

The public prosecution office has launched an investigation into the cause of Banat’s death. An independent investigation should be carried out as well, and those responsible must be brought to justice. Additionally, the Palestinian Authority should release activists arrested for criticizing the PA and revise the laws under which such arrests are justified.


Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison,
In Ramallah, Qais Asád,

The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.