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568. On 11 April 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the Palestinian Authority relating to five Palestinian men, namely Muhammad Thabet Khalil al-Ra'i, Sami Khadr Isma'il Hajji, Mahmud Muhammad Abd-al-Salam al-Sharif, Suhayl Shihdah Zaqqut, Husam Zuhdi Muhammad al-Hissi who have reportedly been sentenced to death by firing squad, after an allegedly unfair trial, for “collaborating” with the Israeli intelligence services. The Special Rapporteur has been informed that the men's trial before the State Security Court in Gaza (composed of military judges, whose sentences cannot be appealed) took place in a single sitting on the evening of 6 April, during which they did have some access to lawyers. The court reportedly commuted the death sentence passed on a sixth man, Abd-al-Halim Mas'ud Hamdan, to 15 years' hard labour. The six men are now held in Tel Al Hawa, the headquarters of the Palestinian Preventive Security Police, in Gaza city. It has been brought to my attention that the public attitude towards collaborators is extremely hostile, and even if President Arafat does not ratify the sentences, the men are still in very real danger of being killed, either inside the prison or if they are released. Nonetheless, President Arafat is besieged in his offices in Ramallah, and at present there appears to be no way for the sentences to be presented to him for ratification.
569. On 28 October 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the Palestinian Authority concerning Akram al-Zatma. According to the information received, Akram al-Zatma, aged 22 from Rafah in Gaza, was sentenced to death by the State Security Court in Gaza on 24 October 2002 on charges of “collaborating” with the Israeli authorities. The death sentence imposed on Akram al-Zatma must be ratified by President Yasser Arafat, after which he could be executed at any time. Akram al-Zatma was reportedly arrested on 8 August 2002 and was held by the Palestinian Authority Preventive Security in Tal al-Hawa, Gaza City. According to reports, he has alleged that he was tortured by his interrogators. He was reportedly convicted of “collaboration” in connection with the Israeli Defence Force attack on Gaza on 22 July 2002.
570. On 30 October, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal to the Palestinian Authority concerning Khaidar Ghanem, a former field worker for Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. Khaidar Ghanem was reportedly sentenced to death on 28 October 2002 by the State Security Court in Gaza. He was allegedly convicted of “collaboration” with the Israeli authorities. The death sentence imposed on Khaidar Ghanem must be ratified by President Arafat, after which he could be executed at any time. According to the information received, his trial apparently lasted two and a half hours and he was represented by a court-appointed lawyer. A number of Palestinian lawyers in Gaza reportedly refuse to represent clients before the State Security Court on the grounds that the trials are unfair.
571. On 2 September 2002, the Special Rapporteur jointly with the Special Rapporteur on torture, sent an allegation to the Palestinian Authority regarding the following cases:
572. Khaled al-‘Akheh was reportedly arrested by the Preventive Security Service (PSS or al-Amn al-Wiqa’i) in Gaza on 14 February 2001 and convicted by the Gaza State Security Court on 12 August 2001 for helping Israeli forces kill Mas’ud Ayyad on 13 February 2001. It is reported that over a period of 18 days after his arrest he was allegedly subjected to ill-treatment. As a result, he is believed to have lost some vision in his right eye and some of his hearing in his left ear. According to the information received, he was able to receive visitors about 20 to 30 days after his arrest. He was reportedly shot by police on 9 September 2001, allegedly while trying to escape from custody during a prison transfer in Gaza City.
573. Suliman Qwaidh Mohammad Abu ‘Amra, a 38-year-old man from Deir al-Balah, was reportedly arrested on 8 August 2001 by the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) and held incommunicado at the MIS’ headquarters in Gaza City until mid August 2001. According to the information received, on 15 August 2001 his family was informed that he died of a heart attack while being interrogated. However, a lawyer working for a human rights organization allegedly saw blue marks on his wrists, back and legs. In addition, an autopsy conducted at Shifa Hospital reportedly found that the death resulted from “several injuries in the body and sensitive parts. President Arafat is said to have ordered an official inquiry into this death. However, as far as the Special Rapporteurs have been informed, no results of this inquiry have been made public and no one has been arrested in connection with this death in custody.
574. ‘Ala’ al-Din Hassan Muhammad Wabheh, a 41-year-old man from Khan Yunis, in the Gaza Strip, was reportedly arrested for “security reasons” on 18 October 2001 by security forces. It is reported that he died during his transfer to the hospital on 21 October 2001, after having been held in incommunicado detention for three days at the General Intelligence Apparatus in Khan Yunis. According to the information received, the security forces pointed out that he committed suicide after he had been confronted with the confessions of his co-conspirators. However, the Special Rapporteur has also been informed that his brother, a medical doctor managed to see his body and reported that the corpse presented bruises, swellings and marks indicating that his head had been hurt and his neck wore marks of a rope or a wire.