A human rights group has condemned Palestinian police for allegedly arresting, beating and cutting the hair of young men found to have “indecent” hairstyles.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) says the incidents occurred in the Gaza Strip and has called for an investigation into what it calls “a violation of civil rights”.
In a statement released on Sunday, the PCHR said: “According to investigations conducted by PCHR, over the three past days, the Palestinian police stopped a number of young men, who were walking in different areas in the Gaza Strip, and took them to police stations under the pretext that their hairstyle was 'indecent'.
“The hair of the men was cut while they were in detention. Some of the men were also beaten while in detention. Finally, the detainees were forced to sign a statement declaring they would not grow long hair or have a strange hairstyle, or wear ‘low-waisted trousers’ again.”
The PCHR quotes an account from one man who claimed to have been in police custody for two hours during an incident last week.
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"We received several complaints from headmasters saying a number of boys are hanging around on the streets and harassing girls," he said in a statement, adding police had begun the crackdown following "complaints" last week.
But he denied claims of police brutality, saying their treatment of the youngsters was "not as harsh as it appears.”
The Jerusalem Post points out that Hamas earlier this year banned tight-fitting or low-riding trousers and women from smoking or appearing in public without wearing the hijab.
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April 17, 2004
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Sept. 1, 2005
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Jan. 25, 2006
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June 25, 2006
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Israel and Hamas cease fire in Gaza. <em>Caption: Palestinian security men stand guard on a street during the third day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on January 20, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)</em>
April 9, 2011
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Oct. 11, 2011
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March 12, 2012
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June 23, 2012
Israel says Hamas and other groups fire more than 150 rockets at it in a week. Retaliatory airstrikes kill at least 2 Palestinians. <em>Caption: A Palestinian security police officer inspects the damage following an Israeli air strike on the building in Gaza City, early Saturday, June 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)</em>
Oct. 8, 2012
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Nov. 13, 2012
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Nov. 14, 2012
Israel kills Hamas's military chief of staff; launch widespread air offensive. Warn of possible ground attack. <em>Caption: Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Edi Israel)</em>