[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
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
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