[Ppnews] Since 1967, 73 Palestinian detainees have died from torture while under Israeli interrogation

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jun 26 11:11:32 EDT 2013

  Since 1967, 73 Palestinian detainees have died from torture while
  under Israeli interrogation

/26 June 2013, Occupied Ramallah/ --

In light of the commemoration of the International Day in Support of 
Victims of Torture, the case of the almost 5,000 Palestinian political 
prisoners held in Israeli prisons is of particular importance and poignancy.
Since 1967, 73 Palestinian detainees have died from torture at the hands 
of their Israeli interrogators.
The most recent death was that of Arafat Jaradat (30) who died on 23 
February 2013 while under Israeli interrogation. According to the 
Palestinian Authority's chief medical examiner, Mr. Jaradat's 'death was 
caused by nervous shock resulting from severe pain, which was due to 
injuries inflicted though direct and extreme torture'. Mr. Jaradat, a 
father with two young children, was detained for 7 days before he died 
under interrogation in a special section of Megiddo Prison.
Under Israeli military law a Palestinian detainee can be interrogated 
for a total period of 90 days, during which he/she can also be denied 
lawyer visits for a period of 60 days. During the interrogation period, 
a detainee is often subjected to some form of cruel, inhuman or 
degrading treatment, whether physical or psychological, and ranging in 
* *
The forms of torture and ill treatment employed against Palestinian 
prisoners include the following: beatings, tying prisoners in "stress 
positions", interrogation sessions that last up to 12 consecutive hours, 
depriving prisoners of sleep and other sensory deprivation, isolation 
and solitary confinement, and threats against the lives of their 
relatives. Confessions extracted through such practices are admissible 
in court. These practices are in direct contravention of international 
law, including the United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT), 
ratified by Israel on 3 October 1991, which requires any State Party to 
prevent the use of torture and associated practices. The prohibition is 
absolute and non-derogable, and allows for "no exceptional circumstances 
According to research by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, 
all 700 complaints of torture made against Israeli interrogators in the 
past 10 years were closed without any criminal investigation. 
Additionally, many Palestinians who are tortured refuse to file 
complaints because of their lack of confidence in the system. The 
Israeli Prison Service displays not only apathy for the well-being of 
Palestinians, but acts with impunity in direct violation of 
international human rights and humanitarian law.
More recently, on 7 April 2013, administrative detainees Ahmad Zahran 
(36) and Mahmoud Zahran (36) detailed before Ofer Military Court their 
treatment at the hands of the Israeli Prison Service.
In his testimony before the military judge, detainee Ahmad Zahran 
explained that he suffered constantly from nausea and exhaustion as a 
result of sleep deprivation and the extreme length, duration, and 
harshness of his interrogation. Mahmoud Zahran explained to the judge 
that he had also been subject to extremely harsh interrogation 
techniques by several interrogation groups, and that he had been tied to 
a chair for hours throughout an interrogation, that endured non-stop day 
and night.
In the face of this overwhelming evidence, the military court extended 
the detentions of the aforementioned detainees, providing legal cover 
for the Israeli intelligence apparatus in clear contravention of the 
norms of international humanitarian law, which outlaw torture and cruel 
and inhuman treatment. Decisions such as this provide a veneer of legal 
and judicial legitimacy for the use of torture by the Israeli security 
services, in contravention of Article 71 of the IV Geneva Convention.

On this day commemorating victims of torture, it is imperative that 
attention is drawn to the plight of the almost 5,000 Palestinian 
political prisoners, and the systematic torture which they are subjected 
to. Addameer again calls for on Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the 
United Nations, to immediately form an investigation committee to 
investigate the situation of all Palestinian political prisoners, in 
particular the systematic use of torture they are subjected to by the 
Israeli security services and the Israeli prison service.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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