Masked Hamas police beat and detained members of the Gaza Strip's tiny Shiite community during a religious commemoration last week, a follower and local rights groups said Tuesday, accusing their Islamist rulers of religious intolerance.
A man who described himself as a Shiite said police burst into a
house where followers were marking Arbaeen, the commemorating of the end of 40
days of mourning following the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein,
the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
the men filed complaints to the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human
Rights and the rights group Mezan.Mezan said in a statement that during Saturday evening's incident in
the town of Beit Lahia, police smashed up the apartment, broke the bones
of seven of the men, detained some of them at a police station and beat
them again before sending them to a military hospital for treatment.
Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Ghussein said Tuesday that police
stormed the apartment of a group of "outlaws" who were planning
"criminal acts." He said he was unaware of the presence of any Shiites