Palestine: Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention

22 March <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>2012 — DCI Palestine

On Tuesday, 20 March <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>2012, DCI-<strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Palestine releases a new report – Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention.
The report is the culmination of four year’s work by DCI-<strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Palestine, with the support of the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>European Union, focusing on verifying reports of ill-treatment and torture of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children held in <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>military detention. The findings of the report are based on 311 sworn affidavits taken from <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children between January 2008 and January <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>2012. The report also includes:

  • An <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>interview with a lawyer who represents <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children in the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>military courts;
  • An <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>interview with the director of the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>YMCA rehabilitation programme;
  • An <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>interview with an Israeli soldier, courtesy of Breaking the Silence;
  • A psychological opinion into the effects of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>military detention on <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children; and
  • 25 case studies taken from child-detainees.
  • The findings of the report include:
  • There is a systematic pattern of ill-treatment, and in some cases torture, of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children held in the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>military detention system.
  • The majority of the ill-treatment occurs within the first 48 hours, during the arrest, <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>transfer and interrogation stages.
  • The majority of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children confess following a coercive interrogation and in 29% of cases, the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children are shown, or sign documents and confessions written in Hebrew.
  • In 87% of cases the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children remain in pre-trial detention, and in 90% of cases the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children plead guilty, as this is the quickest way out of the system.
  • Following conviction, 63% of the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children are detained in prisons inside <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Israel, in violation of the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Geneva Convention.
  • The establishment of a <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>military juvenile court and recent amendments to the <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>military law have had marginal, if any, impact on the treatment of <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children in the system.

The testimonies also reveal that most <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children are arrested from villages located close to friction points, namely settlements built in violation of international law, and roads used by the Israeli army or settlers. The report includes 10 recommendations, which if implemented, would reduce the level of ill-treatment, but the treatment documented in the report will continue so long as the friction points remain and <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Palestinian <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>children are treated as second-class individuals.

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
Gerard Horton
International <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Advocacy Officer – Lawyer
Defence for Children International – <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Palestine Section
Tel: +972 2 242 75 30 ext. 103
Fax: +972 2 242 70 18
Mobile: + 972 0599 087 290
Email: gerard@dci-pal.org

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