LAW: Israel Tortures Palestinian Detainees During Interrogations

Published December 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

19-year-old Shadi Tareq Al Isawi was the subject of Israeli torture during interrogations at the Russian Compound Detention Center in Jerusalem, according to a statement issued by the human right’s group, LAW, of which Albawaba.com received a copy Tuesday.  

Isawi, from the village of Al Isawiyeh, was arrested on the 8th of October 2000 by Israeli undercover agents who entered his village. 

During a prison visit by LAW’s lawyer Labib Habib, Al Isawi complained that his interrogators hit him on the head and the chest, pulled his hair out in handfuls and prevented him from sleeping for eight days. He also said that he was kept in solitary confinement in a small cell when not under interrogations, according to the statement. 

He was then transferred to Al Ramleh prison, the statement added, where he was placed in a cell with criminals convicted of drug-related offences. In protest, Isawi went on a hunger strike for three days. LAW’s lawyer sent a letter to the head of Al Ramleh prison demanding that Isawi be moved to another cell. 

The statement added that this is not the only case of torture in the Israeli prisons against Palestinians ever since the beginning of Al Aqsa Intifada. 

In a similar visit by the lawyer Labib Habib of LAW organization to the Mijeddo prison on November 29th 2000, 18-year-old Rami Izoul from Houssan village near Bethlehem told the attorney that he was beaten and had ice-cold water poured over his head during interrogation at the Kfar Etzion settlement. 

Rami Izoul had been arrested by the Israeli soldiers at his home on October 30, 2000. 

At Asqalan prison, attorney Habib was able to speak with prisoners Muntasser Jamoos and Ataya Jaber but was prevented from meeting with Mohammad Sanuqa from Jerusalem. 

Muntasser Jamoos, from the West Bank town of Nablus and who was sentenced in 1989 for 14 years, asked LAW’s lawyer to submit on his behalf an application for parole to the Prisoner Release Committee. 

Prisoners who have served two third of their sentence are eligible for early release. 

Ateyya Jaber, who was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment in 1995, complained about problems with his back and stomach, and noted that the prison administration was not providing him with adequate medical treatment. 

The statement issued voices LAW’s concern over the cases of torture or “ill treatment” of Palestinian detainees reported since the outbreak of this last Intifada. 

The Israeli Knesset has legalized the already practiced torture measures ever since the early years of Israel the state. 

On September 6, 1999, the Israeli High Court issued a judgment outlawing specified interrogation methods amounting for torture such as violent shaking and position abuse. The Court also prohibited the use of sleep deprivation as a means to exert pressure on detainees. 

The statement confirms that the Shein Beit (the General Security Service (GSS)) argued that the methods used constituted “moderate physical pressure” and did “not amount to” torture. This argument was challenged by the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) which found in 1997 and 1998 that methods defined by Israel as “moderate physical pressure” were in breach of the UN Convention against Torture -- Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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