Palestinian court holds first trial session for killers of activist
Activist Nizar Banat died in Palestinian custody after being arrested by security forces
A Palestinian military court on Tuesday held the first session for the trial of suspected murderers of Palestinian activist and critic Nizar Banat in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
In attendance were a team of Banat’s lawyers, representatives of human rights organizations, and media people, who were instructed not to film the court proceedings.
Banat's family, meanwhile, refused to attend the court session.
"Out of respect for the blood of our martyred son Nizar Banat, and in line with our national principles, which state that we cannot meet with the killer and criminal group under one roof, we announce that we will not attend the trial” Banat’s family said in a statement on Monday.
It also accused the court of being “partial and incomplete.”
Banat died in custody on June 24 after being arrested by security forces. His family and fellow activists called for an investigation into the circumstances of his death.
His death sparked widespread outrage among Palestinians, who rallied in various cities across the occupied West Bank to call for the trial of his killers.
The government has since formed an official investigation committee into Banat’s death and 14 Palestinian security personnel have so far been arrested.
In August, Palestinian security forces arrested dozens of activists attempting to organize sit-ins to protest the lack of accountability for those responsible for Banat’s death.
Following the arrest of activists, the United Nations called on the Palestinian Authority to stop harassing peaceful demonstrators.
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.