Hamas security forces in Gaza have been rounding up young men and forcing them to get haircuts on grounds of inappropriate hairstyles, a rights group has charged.
Some of the youths have even been beaten for styling their hair in a way deemed unacceptable to Gaza’s ruling Islamist movement, or wearing low-hung trousers, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said on Sunday.
The PCHR urged the attorney general to immediately open an investigation into the attacks and the beatings, saying they “undermine personal freedom”.
Police spokesman Ayman al-Batinji confirmed some young people had been compelled to get their hair cut, in a move he said was related to inappropriate behaviour on the streets.
But he denied claims of police brutality, saying their treatment of the youngsters was “not as harsh as it appears,” without giving further detail.