[Pnews] Haaretz Article describes Torture Tactics against Palestinian Prisoners as told by Israeli Interrogators

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Wed Jan 25 10:54:38 EST 2017


http://www.addameer.org/news/haaretz-article-describes-torture-tactics-told-israeli-interrogators 



  Haaretz Article describes Torture Tactics as told by Israeli Interrogators

<http://www.addameer.org/printpdf/2702>

January 25, 2017

An article <http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.767095> by 
Haaretz accounts the methods that interrogators describe and brings 
light to torture practices that are known to be routinely and 
systematically used against Palestinian detainees.

The article recounts that “N., a former senior interrogator … said the 
methods used are carefully chosen to be effective enough to break the 
suspect’s spirit, but without causing permanent damage or leaving any 
marks.”

Israeli physical torture methods cited in the article include slapping, 
back-bending, shouting, and being forced to squat. The article also 
describes the excruciatingly painful back-bending position in which the 
detainee “is seated on a backless stool, his arms and legs cuffed, and 
the interrogator forces him to lean back at a certain angle. This 
requires the suspect to use his stomach muscles to keep from falling.” 
Another method described includes “forcing the handcuffed suspect to 
kneel with his back to the wall for long periods of time. If the suspect 
falls, the interrogators put him back in position, and they keep him 
there even if the suspect cries, begs or screams.”

It is important to note that the use of physical pressure against 
prisoners and detainees is less common since the 1999 High Court ruling 
in The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel v. Government of 
Israel, which placed certain restrictions on the use of torture during 
interrogation. However, under the court’s decision, “moderate physical 
pressure” was allowed to continue in the “necessity of defence” and in 
“ticking time-bomb” cases. Despite the landmark court ruling, Israeli 
interrogators today continue to use forbidden interrogation techniques 
as explained above. As Israeli forces can legally hold detainees 
incommunicado for up to three months, Israeli Security Agency (ISA) 
interrogators are able to use methods of torture with impunity.

*/Lack of Investigations of ISA officers/*

Complaints of torture seldom result in investigations. In addressing 
torture, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) has 
reported that between the years 2001 and 2010, 701 complaints regarding 
torture and ill-treatment had been reached at the Inspector of 
Interrogee Complaints [who at the time was responsible for these 
complaints], and that not a single one had resulted in a criminal 
investigation.  PCATI also added that:

“As part of its ongoing efforts to pursue all legal remedies following 
complaints of torture handled by the organisation, in 2010 and 2011 
PCATI’s legal department filed five petitions to the High Court of 
Justice on behalf of 26 victims of torture. Each of the petitioners in 
question were subjected to particularly grueling physical and 
psychological torture and/or ill-treatment in the course of ISA 
interrogations - in all cases the closure of the victims’ complaints 
have been unquestionably approved by the legal authorities following the 
IIC’s preliminary inquiry. It is worth noting that the majority of 
detainees who have reported torture or ill-treatment to PCATI lawyers 
ultimately refuse to submit complaints to the authorities, citing lack 
of trust in official mechanisms of investigation or fear of reprisals.”

*War Crime*

Addameer has documented 75 Palestinians who were killed as a result of 
torture during Israeli interrogation since 1967. Such cases have 
persisted despite the Israeli state’s ratification of The United Nations 
Convention against Torture on 03 October 1991. Article 147 of the Fourth 
Geneva Convention categorizes willful killing, torture or inhuman 
treatment, and “wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to 
body or health” as grave breaches, and Article 8 of the Rome Statute of 
the International Criminal Court categorizes “torture or inhuman 
treatment” as war crimes.

*Recommendations *

Addameer calls for immediate investigations of the routine practices of 
torture and ill treatment against prisoners and detainees. These 
practices, which are systematically practiced against Palestinians 
should be immediately and impartially investigated by the International 
Criminal Court (ICC).

-- 
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