[Ppnews] Bethlehem's ambulance driver another victim of severe beating

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 17 11:55:32 EST 2006

Prisoner Society reports that Bethlehem's Aida Camp man another 
victim of severe beating

(Bethlehem) Najib Farag
Friday, 17 November 2006

An Aida Refugee Camp resident is among the Palestinians with stories 
of abuse endured in Israeli prison. Mahmoud Ahmed Abu Salem testified 
under oath to a Palestinian Prisoner Society lawyer that he was 
subjected to severe beatings at the hands of Israeli soldiers.

In the southern West Bank Israeli forces arrested 26 year old 
ambulance driver Abu Salem who was transporting an elderly man and 
his son to Hebron. An Israeli jeep followed the ambulance and told 
him to turn off the motor.

They took his keys and identification before releasing the 
passengers. Israeli soldiers searched the ambulance and upon not 
finding anything controversial, questioned Abu Salem as to why he had 
scissors and gauze. The driver responded that they were part of the 
standard equipment and must be with the driver of the vehicle.

The soldiers began beating the Bethlehem resident and verbally 
abusing him, but one soldier accidentally hit another, causing more 
anger and aggression. Blood showered from Abu Salem's head and face, 
while he was also beaten over his entire body. He tried to cover his 
face and hit back, but that caused an even more violent attack.

After clamping his hands and legs and blindfolding him, Israeli 
soldiers threatened to burn Abu Salem's beard which he was wearing 
long as a Sheikh. He was moved to an unknown area and left for 
approximately two hours until his blood dried.

The soldiers told Abu Salem to sign a paper stating that he had not 
been beaten. When Abu Salem refused, Israeli soldiers threatened to 
continue the beating. He signed.

After Abu Salem signed the paper, Israeli soldiers instructed him to 
wash his face and body, and to get the blood off of his clothes. He 
refused and asked to be taken to any place that he could lodge a 
complaint. At that point he was knocked to the ground and the 
soldiers poured water over his body and left him. Soon after the 
military patrol moved and he asked them if he could pray, but the 
soldiers refused the request. He instead prayed while sitting and 
experiencing a sharp pain in his back.

The Prisoner Society lawyer who took the deposition said that Abu 
Salem had marks of beating throughout his body and that he was still 
suffering back pain from direct blows to the spine. Although Abu 
Salem had been urinating blood, that has now stopped.

After being transferred to a prison and a military court, Abu Salem 
was charged with resisting arrest. He is currently in Israeli prison 
where the Prisoner Society lawyer met with him.

The Freedom Archives
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San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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