[Ppnews] Muhammad Salah - Rights expert testifies about Torture
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Dec 20 11:17:49 EST 2006
Israeli torture of captives alleged
Rights expert testifies at Hamas-case trial of Bridgeview man
By Rudolph Bush
Tribune staff reporter
December 20, 2006
Israeli interrogators engaged in systematic
torture of the "vast majority" of people detained
as security threats during the 1990s, a human rights expert testified Tuesday.
Yuval Ginbar, a researcher with the Israeli human
rights organization B'Tselem, took the stand on
behalf of Muhammad Salah, a Bridgeview man
accused of supporting terrorism as a member of
the Palestinian extremist group Hamas.
Ginbar acknowledged he had no firsthand
information about how Salah was treated when
Israeli security agents interrogated him in 1993.
But he said that accounts from Palestinian
detainees and Israeli agents, as well as
documents from Israel and the U.S. State
Department, confirmed that torture was commonly
employed in Israeli interrogation centers.
"The Israeli [security agency's] torture system
was a sophisticated one," Ginbar said.
It involved cutting off a detainee from contact
with the outside world, depriving him of sleep,
placing him in uncomfortable positions for
extended periods of time and sensory abuse, Ginbar said.
The alleged use of torture by Israeli agents is a
key point of contention in Salah's trial.
Prosecutors accuse him of providing funds and
other aid to Hamas. Salah confessed to the crime
in Israel when he was captured in 1993 with more than $100,000.
His attorneys have argued Salah confessed after
enduring torture over 54 days in custody. The
money was intended for humanitarian aid, they argued.
Two Israeli agents who handled Salah's
interrogation testified earlier that he was
treated well and provided information voluntarily.
Salah spent four years in an Israeli prison after
he was convicted of being a leader of Hamas.
On cross-examination, Ginbar said he was never
permitted to view an interrogation.
"I was denied firsthand knowledge. Part of the
torture system was not to allow [non-government
organizations] into the system," he said.
Ginbar regularly referred to a 1999 decision by
the Israeli Supreme Court that outlawed
interrogation methods that were legal when Salah was in custody.
Such methods included placing hoods over
detainees' heads, handcuffing them for prolonged
periods and playing loud music.
"It becomes torture with the accumulation of
time. These benign sounding methods become unbearable," Ginbar said.
The trial of Salah and his co-defendant,
Abdelhaleem Ashqar of suburban Washington, is
scheduled to resume Wednesday with testimony from
defense witnesses. The trial is then to break until Jan. 2.
rrbush at tribune.com
Copyright © 2006,
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews