Danish Paper Says Amnesty Int'l Wants Gillon to Stand Trial for Torture
The London-based human rights watchdog Amnesty International has decided to try bringing Israel's ambassador designate to Denmark, Carmi Gillon, to trial, said the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, citing a Danish report.
The Danish newspaper Politikan said that Amnesty was calling for bringing the incoming ambassador to trial for the use of torture against Palestinians during his term as head of the General Security Service, Shin Bet.
Danish Justice Minister Frank Jensen had said that Denmark must arrest Gillon to fulfill Denmark’s commitment to the United Nations to arrest people responsible for torturing prisoners.
Although Jensen later offered his opinion that the confessed former torture mastermind would be allowed diplomatic immunity, the damage had already been done.
Under Gillon's leadership in the mid-1990s, Shin Bet agents tortured hundreds of Palestinian detainees, according to B'Tselem, Israel's leading human rights organization, cited in a July 29 Washington Post report. In the same vein, according to Amnesty International, Israel arrested more than 8,000 Palestinians and routinely subjected them to torture in the period 1993-1998.
The ambassador designate, who left Shin Bet in 1996 after serving as its chief, told a Danish television reporter that his agency routinely used "moderate physical pressure" -- Israel's euphemism for torture -- on Arab prisoners under detention.
According to the Post, the practice was outlawed by the Israeli Supreme Court in 1999, but Gillon told the Danish reporter it might have to be reinstated to prevent imminent “terrorist attacks” and save Israeli lives.
"You must understand that the method was used only against Islamic fundamentalists who refused to volunteer information, especially on suicide bombers," he was quoted as saying in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper. "It was part of fighting terrorism." – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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