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Affidavit No. 4425/2008

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected to penal action, I, the undersigned, Mustafa Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 923773568, born in 1963, a senior researcher at the Independent Commission for Human Rights and a resident of Tal al-Hawa neighbourhood, Gaza City, Gaza Governorate, would like to declare the following:

My name is Mustafa Khalil Ibrahim and I am 45 years old. I am married and a resident of Tal al-Hawa neighbourhood in the city of Gaza. I work as a senior researcher at the Independent Commission for Human Rights. At about 12:25 pm on Thursday, 16 October 2008, I was about to leave al-Azhar University in Gaza City after I had monitored a raid and attack on the university campus by a number of students of the Islamic Bloc affiliated with the Hamas Movement. At the main gate of al-Azhar University along Jamal ’Abd-al-Naser Street, I saw a large police force of the deposed government. About ten police officers, some wearing civilian clothes,

chased a bearded young man who had a pistol on his waist. Some police officers tried to calm him down whereas others wanted to arrest him. However, they did not make any efforts to detain the young man and let him go. Having walked for several metres, I saw a stopped police vehicle and a number of police officers, including an officer in the rank of a major. With him were a number of armed individuals in civilian clothing. I stopped beside the vehicle and asked one of the police officers about what was going on. He did not answer me. Then, I saw Muhammad Abu-Sido, the cameraman for the Ramattan News Agency, sitting in the police vehicle holding the special camera for his work. His assistant Muhammad al-Za'anin, the sound technician, was with him. I asked Abu-Sido, "Why are you in the car?” He replied, “We are being detained.” I requested that he give me the number of his mobile telephone. However, before he finished giving me the number, a person grabbed my right arm. I turned around and it was a police officer in the rank of major, wearing a police uniform. Without even giving me time to identify myself, the officer seized my mobile telephone. He also ordered other police officers to arrest me and to put me in the police car along with the journalists. He said to them, "Arrest him and put him in the car and take them all to the Passports Department to Islam Shahwan."

The police officers did not wait; two of them in civilian clothes and armed with machine guns, forced me into the stopped police car with the two journalists. The car drove directly to the police headquarters at the Passports Department, which was only a few metres away from al-Azhar University. When the car arrived, police officers took us to the Police Director's headquarters, where the office of Islam Shahwan, the spokesman for the Palestinian Police, was located. At the office door, police officers searched the journalists' bag and wanted to take the camera.

However, the officers who arrested us said that they were only tasked to take us to Islam Shahwan's office. Having waited for a short while at the door, we entered Shahwan's office. I immediately informed him that I was being detained and that this was unacceptable because the police officers detained me for no reason and without knowing my identity or even asking me for my ID card. They also grabbed my mobile telephone by force. He responded, "This is nonsense. Who said you are being detained? Sit down. Sit down.”

"What am I doing here then? Have I come here upon invitation? I am being detained. I was forced to get in the car and was detained," I said. Then, Shahwan took the camera from the journalists. He requested that Muhammad Abu-Sido open up the camera. At this point, Abu-Sido stated that they had not filmed any of the events at al-Azhar University. "We were filming a symposium on poverty in the Gaza Strip at the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. We were detained while we were waiting for a car," Abu-Sido told him. Shahwan asked them if the seminar was transmitted live on air, to which Abu-Sido replied that it had been recorded. Shahwan continued examining the tape and after several minutes, did not see any images.

Then, he asked about our mobile telephones which were with one of the police officers wearing civilian clothes. He was searching the mobile devices and disconnecting calls that were coming in to my telephone. Once again, Shahwan examined the camera and the recorded tape. He returned to asking about the mobile phones. He took them from the police officer and returned them to us. He asked us to sit down, but I refused. I took my mobile telephone and left, having been detained by the police for about 20 minutes.

 

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 4425/2008
  • Field researcher: Mohammad Abu Rahmah
  • Affidavit Date: 18 October 2008
  • Name: Mustafa Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim
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