Israel's Pro-Torture Ambassador Designate to Arrive in Denmark
Israel's pro-torture ambassador designate to Denmark, Carmi Gillon, will arrive Wednesday in Copenhagen amidst fierce Danish criticism regarding his appointment, Haaretz newspaper reported.
Gillon, the former head of the Shin Bet security service, is expected take up his post on September 11, said the paper.
The paper cited Israel Radio as saying that the Danish police would be out in force to deal with possible demonstrations timed for Gillon's arrival.
Gillon started a huge controversy over his appointment when he told a television interviewer that Israel might need to resume using "moderate physical pressure" to get information from "ticking bomb" terrorists.
The London-based Amnesty International called on Denmark on Tuesday to refuse to accept the diplomatic credentials of Gillon because he headed the Shin Bet in a period when, according to Israeli human rights groups, hundreds of Palestinians were tortured.
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.
Danish Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft has denounced Gillon's actions associated with the Shin Bet but argues that criticism should be directed at the Israeli government and not personally at Gillon.
Lykketoft had said Gillon would be treated like any other diplomat when he arrived on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said Tuesday that he wished Gillon "to represent Israel honorably, as a country that knows how to protect itself and strives for peace," Haaretz quoted him as saying.
Peres said there had been a change of atmosphere in Denmark regarding Gillon's appointment as ambassador.
A senior Israeli official told Haaretz that “if there was any chance Gillon might be arrested, he wouldn't be going to Denmark.
"We didn't take any chances," he added – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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