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From the field

Interrogation over a cup of coffee?

Following the decision of the High Court of Justice prohibiting physical means of interrogation by the GSS, and subsequent attempts to enact legislation allowing their use, B'Tselem is publishing a position paper on the subject. This document, which is the first of its kind for the human rights organization, addresses all aspects of the use of torture and ill-treatment in interrogations.

The document addresses, among other things, the baseless arguments raised by journalists and MKs regarding GSS interrogations.

The position paper responds to arguments and questions such as:

  • "We are not Holland" - How do other democratic countries cope with terrorism? The American and British approach.
  • Is questioning suspects "over a cup of coffee" the only option to torture? Are there other ways to obtain vital information?
  • Is it possible to allow "moderate physical pressure" without it quickly turning into a license to torture?
  • Are there cases in which it is morally justified to torture a person to obtain information that may save lives?

If Israel enacts a statute allowing torture in interrogations, it would become the only democratic country in the world to legalize torture.