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25/6/05

IMEMC -Report: 90% of Palestinian detainees were Tortured

  

www.imemc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12020&Itemid=1

Report: 90% of Palestinian detainees were Tortured

Saed Bannoura, IMEMC & Agencies – Saturday, 25 June 2005, 15:05

The Palestinian Prisoners Society published Friday a report, saying that 90% of the Palestinian prisoners were tortured in Israeli prisons, and that interrogators are using “New and inhuman methods” against them.

June 26th marks the International Day Against Torture, yet it passes while the Palestinian people undergo wide-scaled arrests, and continuous violations in Israeli prisons, and in the Palestinian territories.

“Army violence against the Palestinian detainees is not new or unique to the current Intifada. What is unique though is the increase in the numbers and forms of abuse. Torture has exceeded being limited to severe treatment, physical and psychological pressure in interrogation cells, to threats of rape to force the detainees to admit the charges against them or to provide information about residents”, the PPS reported.

Also, the society stated that dozens of child detainees told the lawyers of the society that soldiers sexually harassed them, and threatened to rape them if they do not “confess” to the charges filed against them.

Another sort of abuse and humiliation in Israeli prisons is the usage of military dogs to attack the detainees.

This method was used in Keryat Arba’ detention facility against the Palestinian detainees, who were attacked by the fierce dogs.

“Torture is now also practiced while the detainees are being transferred to detention stations after arresting them from their homes, it includes severe beating, threats, curses, and degradation”, the society stated.

Detainee Ramzi Salah, 28 years old from al-Khader village, near Bethlehem, was severely beaten and dragged out of his home; soldiers kept beating him while he was being transferred to a detention facility; the torture Salah was subjected to led to fracture in his spine.

Also, detainee Umran Abu Hamdeyeh, 17, from Hebron, was severely beaten when he was arrested on December 30, 2002, and sustained internal bleeding which eventually led to his death.

Medical neglect and failing to provide the detainees with the needed dedications, especially the injured prisoners, made them confess to the charges filed against them, in order to receive medical treatment.

Prison authorities are using medical care as a means to blackmail prisoners to give information. An example to this method is the case of the detainee Maher Ali al-Ra’y from Qalqilia, who had to bargain the interrogators in order to receive medical treatment to his injured arm.

Human rights organizations and lawyers of the PPS revealed that 90% of Palestinian prisoners are subjected to methods that constitute torture and direct harsh violence.

Threats of rape, curses and degradation forms of torture are used mainly against female detainees.

Detainee Rawya As’ad Mousa, 18, from Tulkarem, said that soldiers attacked her and pulled her head veil, then verbally abused her, using offensive and degrading language.

Also, soldiers threatened detainee Zakiyya Oweidah, 48 from Qalqilia, to kill her children if she does not confess to the charges against her; she was also denied medication in spite that the army knows that she is suffering from a blood disease.

In many cases, mothers, wives and sisters were imprisoned and kept in settlement detention stations for several hours and sometimes for several days, as a means to pressure wanted family member hand themselves to the army.

“Israel violated all international laws and conventions that prohibit torture and other cruel, Inhuman and degrading Treatment or Punishment, especially the Third Geneva Convention regarding to Prisoners of War”, the PPS reported.

Also, the PPS added that Israel is the only state in the world that legalized torture and in spite that using torture during interrogation was outlawed in 1999 by the Israeli High Court of Justice; the Israeli General Security Service continued suing it under the pretext of “fighting terrorism”.

Israeli interrogators get special permits to use torture methods form the State’s Legal Advisor and the High Court which provides “legal protection” to their illegal acts.

190 prisoners died in Israeli prisons since 1967 as a result of torture or medical negligence. Many released prisoners are still suffering from physical and psychological problems.

The society appealed that international community and the UN to take their responsibilities, and ensure legal and human protection to the Palestinian detainees.

Currently, there are 350 child detainees between the ages of 13 and 18 years old, still imprisoned in Israeli detentions. Many of them were exposed to various levels of torture, humiliation and inhumane treatment.

Child detainees, like other Palestinian prisoners, are led to detention centers where severe methods of interrogation are used against them and then put to trial before military courts.

  
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