Updates

Torture & abuse under interrogation

Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem welcomes the recommendations of the Turkel Commission concerning investigations of violations of the laws of armed conflict and calls for full and prompt implementation. Implementation of the commission’s recommendations will lead to a substantive change in the Israeli military’s investigatory apparatus. In its recommendations, the commission adopted several fundamental principles presented to it by representatives of B’Tselem, other human rights organizations and senior jurists.

February 6

On 9 Jan. '12, an Israeli Military Youth Court judge held that a confession given to the police by a 14-year-old Palestinian boy suspected of stone-throwing was admissible, although the minor's rights had clearly been breached under Israel’s Youth Law. In doing so, Judge Rivlin-Ahai forwent an important opportunity to set a standard for protecting the rights of Palestinian minors interrogated by police.

January 15

On 30 Nov. '11, the military court in Ofer ruled that a confession given by Ayman Hamidah during an ISA (Shabak) interrogation was inadmissible, since it had not been given willingly. In an unusual step, the court acquitted Hamidah of the charges that were based solely on the confession. In fact, the interrogation methods that Hamidah described have been used against hundreds of Palestinians, and are classified in international law as torture or maltreatment, which are absolutely prohibited.

December 13

Mustafa al-Hindi was tortured in an ISA interrogation, as detailed in B’Tselem's 1999 report Cooperating against Justice, on human-rights violations by Israel and the PA following the murder of two Israelis in Wadi Qelt. Al-Hindi sued Israel for psychological damage and was, this week, awarded compensation in settlement of the suit.

December 21

HaMoked and B'Tselem's new joint report exposes routine ill-treatment of Palestinians in interrogations. The findings, based on testimonies of 121 Palestinians, show they were subjected to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, and in some cases, also to torture. The report calls on Israel to cease the illegal practices, punish the offenders, and compensate the victims.

November 2

On 30 Sept. '08, police arrested Shadi Sabatin and his Israeli employer. An interrogator then severely beat him, trying to force him to confess he worked in Jerusalem without a permit. Sabatin's employer, who heard his cries in the interrogation room, placed a complaint with the Department for Police investigations.

November 12

In late 2007, soldiers arrested Majed Jaradat after he threw stones at a demonstration. Jaradat told B'Tselem that soldiers beat and kicked him while he was detained, and a policeman beat him during a subsequent interrogation. He was then tried and held with adult prisoners for two months.

July 3

B'Tselem and PCATI mark June 26, the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a new video. The right of every person not to be subjected to ill-treatment or torture (physical or mental) is one of the few human rights that are considered absolute. Therefore, it is forbidden to balance it against other rights and values, or suspend or restrict the right, even in the context of the struggle against terrorism.

June 26

Five Human Rights organizations filed a petition to the High Court of Justice demanding the Court prohibit the use of family members by the GSS to pressure interrogees

April 16

On 11 March 2008, the Department for Investigation of Police arrested two policemen from the Ma'ale Adumim police station. The two are suspected of severely abusing a Palestinian from al-'Eizariya, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The arrest followed a complaint made by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.

March 23

In March 2007 the police arrested 7 Palestinian construction workers in a building site in Beer Sheva and interrogated them. According to testimonies given to B'Tselem, at least three of the detainees were tortured during their interrogation.

June 21

The ISA routinely maltreats Palestinian detainees during interrogations and in some cases even tortures them. This is one of the findings of the report issued today by B'Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual.

May 6

Police officers took Iyad Shamasneh to a police station in which he was severely beaten and abused. Eventually he was released with no legal action taken against him.

April 4

On March 12, 2006, plain-clothed police officers assaulted two children, ages 15 and 11, who were on their way home in the neighborhood of Abu Tor in East Jerusalem . The officers beat the two boys and took the older one to a police station where they abused him severely. The family has filed a complaint.

April 4

The General Security Service repeatedly ordered a Palestinian family to appear at its offices, held them for hours at a time, and maltreated them. In late November, B'Tselem wrote to the Civil Administration's demanding that the abuse end. B'Tselem did not receive a response to its demand. However, the family reported that the maltreatment had ceased.

January 5