[Pnews] Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces abused to confess
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Feb 12 11:34:59 EST 2015
DCI Report: Palestinian Children Abused to Confess
author Wednesday February 11, 2015 -
Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces in the occupied West
Bank, over 2014, fell victim to a pattern of abuse designed to
coerce confessions, according to Defense for Children
DCI-Palestine stated, according to WAFA correspondence, that among the
most troubling experiences were prolonged periods of solitary
confinement, a correctional tactic primarily reserved for adult
prisoners -- and, even then, only after they are convicted.
In 2014, the average time an individual child spent in solitary
confinement for interrogation purposes was 15 days, according to DCIP
research. In one case, Israeli authorities kept a child in isolation for
26 days, total.
It said that between 2012 and 2014, Israeli military, police and
security agents held 54 children in solitary confinement for
interrogation purposes prior to charging them with any offense.
According to UNICEF, “There must be independent scrutiny of the methods
of interrogation. This should include the presence of a lawyer and
relative or legal guardian and audiovisual recording of all
interrogations involving children.”
Data compiled by DCIP from 107 affidavits of Palestinian children, ages
between 12 and 17, detained in 2014, showed the vast majority had to
fend for themselves.
“Unlike their Israeli counterparts, Palestinian children have no right
to be accompanied by a parent during an interrogation. In 93 percent of
cases, children were deprived of legal counsel, and rarely informed of
their rights, particularly their right against self-incrimination,” said
DCIP research additionally revealed that children arrive at Israeli
interrogation centers blindfolded, bound and sleep deprived, noting that
more than three-quarters of child detainees endure some form of physical
violence between the period of their arrest and interrogation, with half
of them also strip searched.
reports state that detainee children should be restrained only if they
“pose an imminent threat to themselves or to others, and all other means
have been exhausted, or as a precaution against escape during transfer,
but in all cases, only for as long as is strictly necessary.”
“Almost all children confess regardless of guilt to stop further abuse.
In more than a quarter of the 2014 cases, children signed statements in
Hebrew, a language they do not understand,” said DCIP.
Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP, said, “The
Israeli military detention system subjects Palestinian children to
several days of prolonged interrogation and isolation with the apparent
goal of obtaining a confession at all costs.”
“The military courts admit these coerced confessions as evidence to
convict these children in a complete mockery of due process and fair
trial standards,” he added.
The report confirmed Israel as the only state to automatically and
systematically prosecute children in military courts which lack basic
standards of due process.
“Around 500 to 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are
arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention
system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are
charged with throwing stones. No Israeli children come into contact with
the military court system.”
/Related: 3755 Children Kidnapped In Past Four Years, 1266 in 2014 Alone
DCIP demands that Israeli authorities end night arrests, prohibit the
use of solitary confinement, and ensure that evidence obtained by force
or coercion during interrogations is excluded by the Israeli military
The organization calls on the Israeli authorities to allow access to
legal counsel prior to interrogations and the presence of a parent
during those interrogations.
“Impunity for violations was a significant obstacle in 2014 as DCIP
filed nine complaints with Israeli authorities concerning the
ill-treatment and torture of five children while in Israeli military
detention. Not a single indictment has been issued against a perpetrator.”
According to DCIP, many Palestinian families refuse to file complaints
for fear of retaliation or, simply, because they do not believe the
system is fair or impartial.
Recent amendments to Israeli military laws concerning children have had
little to no impact on their treatment during the critical 24 to 48
hours after an arrest, where most of the ill-treatment occurs at the
hands of soldiers, policemen and interrogators concluded the
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