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Family wants government’s action on death of Palestinian-Jordanian activist

Palestinians gather for a demonstration in protest against the death of activist Nizar Banat, who died during his arrest by Palestinian security forces, in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank
Palestinians gather for a demonstration in protest against the death of activist Nizar Banat, who died during his arrest by Palestinian security forces, in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, on June 24, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
AMMAN — The family of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat, who died in custody while being interrogated by the Palestinian Authority (PA) security personnel, has demanded the Jordanian government to condemn his death, as the man holds a Jordanian passport and was born and raised in the Kingdom.اضافة اعلان

Banat, 43, died last Thursday after he was arrested by the security forces of the PA. The death is believed to be a result of torture.

“Palestinian activist and parliamentary candidate Nizar Banat was pronounced dead, hours after being arrested by Palestinian Security Forces (PSF) at a house in Hebron. According to the victim’s family, PSF aggressively beat and physically assaulted the victim during the arrest,” said Tor Wennesland as he briefed UN Security Council on Friday.

Banat was known to be an outspoken activist criticizing the Palestinian Authority policies and leadership.

In a conversation with Jordan News, Amar Banat, Nizar’s cousin, he demanded a clear position from the Jordanian government, which, he said, “should fulfil its moral obligation and condemn the killing of Nizar who holds Jordanian citizenship and grew up in the Kingdom.”

The victim’s cousin highlighted Nizar’s life in the city of Salt in Jordan.

“Nizar received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jordan University after finishing top three in the Kingdom’s high school standardized test. He was an advocate of the Palestinian cause and was not a member of any political party,” said Amar.

According to the cousin, Nizar left behind five children, the eldest of whom 16 and the youngest is only 3 months old.
“He never got a chance to hold his newborn, he was chased during the past period and never met his baby daughter,” added the cousin.

Jordan News sought to obtain a comment from officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but they were not available.

In a statement, the US State Department said “We are deeply disturbed by the death of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat and the information that has been reported regarding the circumstances of his death … We urge the Palestinian Authority to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation and to ensure full accountability in this case.  We have serious concerns about Palestinian Authority restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression by Palestinians and harassment of civil society activists and organizations.” 

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