(CNN)Hamas has cracked down on popular protests in Gaza, carrying out beatings, arbitrary arrests and torture against protesters, human rights workers and journalists, Amnesty International said.
Hamas accused of violent crackdown on Gaza protests
"The crackdown on freedom of expression and the use of torture in Gaza has reached alarming new levels," said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. "We are sending a clear message to the Gaza authorities today that we are watching, and we will work to ensure that all those responsible for these violations are held to account."
The protests -- dubbed "We Want to Live" -- began last week, when hundreds of protesters gathered in refugee camps such as Jabaliya and Deir al-Balah, and in Gaza City and Khan Younis.
Men, women and children were among the demonstrators complaining about the dire economic situation and living conditions in Gaza, where youth unemployment runs at about 70%.