The family of a Palestinian Authority activist who died in the custody of the PA’s security forces has announced it will submit a lawsuit Thursday in the International Criminal Court in The Hague against the Ramallah government over his death.
Nizar Banat, who criticized the government headed by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, was dragged from his home by government security forces. He died less than an hour later, while in custody, in June 2021.
“We demand justice for a man who was doing nothing but speaking the truth of power,” said family lawyer Hakan Camuz.
According to the findings of an autopsy, Banat was severely beaten on the head, chest, neck, legs and hands.
Banat’s death sparked protests in Ramallah, with demonstrators yelling “Justice for Nizar!” and calling for the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas.
The lawsuit to be filed Thursday at the ICC accuses seven Palestinian Authority government officials with responsibility for Banat’s death.
The family decided to file the lawsuit after 14 security officers were released on bail by the Palestinian Authority earlier this year to await their trial over the activist’s death, AFP reported.
Banat’s brother, Ghassan Banat, said in response “we understood that the regime of the Palestinian Authority, the police, the security officers have more authority than the court – that they were above the court. That is why we decided to move to the international arena.”
The activist’s brother said Nizar Banat was killed when he “challenged Mahmoud Abbas and was telling people the truth about the real situation of the Palestinian Authority.”