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Families of the Kidnapped Committee: The Guardian defended our children while the Arabs kept silent

The Families of the Kidnapped Committee disclosed yesterday that “the torture and abuse of our sons in the West Bank prisons is much more widespread than reported by The Guardian. However, the committee stressed that what was published by the British newspaper in defence of their sons was very well appreciated especially at a time when most of our local and regional Arab media ignore the pains and the groans of our sons, which are beyond any description.”

In a press release on Friday 18, commenting on the “Guardian” report regarding the brutal acts of torture of the kidnapped members of the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” in the West Bank prisons operated by the Western backed “Fatah” movement. The statement read: “The last two weeks have witnessed a serious escalation both in the campaigns of arrest and summons as well as in terms of the cruel methods interrogation used by interrogators from Fatah in the West Bank”.

The statement added: “It is important to highlight the following facts according to the latest available data:”

  • The number of the kidnapped persons in Fatah detention in the West Bank is 675, distributed in prisons throughout the West Bank.
  • During the last two weeks, more than 400 of our sons were kidnapped by Abbas’ aides to prevent Hamas from engaging any activities to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of its founding.  Some of them were released a few days later, while others joined the long list of abductees in Abbas’ West Bank prisons.
  • Since the beginning of December more than 4,000 of Hamas supporters, members and leaders in the West Bank were summoned by Fatah security agencies for questioning.
  • Fatah interrogators forced all those summoned to sign a document pledging not to participate in any activities to celebrate Hamas founding in the West Bank.
  • The most dangerous aspect of these undertakings is that the kidnapped victims were forced to close the doors on any attempts to resort to higher courts.
  • More than 35 children under the age of 16 were among those kidnapped; most of them were beaten and tortured for allegedly writing slogans on the anniversary of founding of Hamas.
  • Methods of torture are not limited to hanging by the legs (shabah) sleep deprivation for long hours. They also include beatings with batons, electrical shocks, stripping of clothes and the pouring of cold water on the bodies of victims. On top of this, they are denied visits from relatives.
  • The wives of some victims have been held in detention by the Fateh agencies, in order to force their husbands to confess. Some of them were exposed to different types of disgraceful tortures including shabah, verbal abuse and threats to their husbands that they would be sexually abused.
  • The activities of human rights institutions in the territory are restricted and they do not have any pressure cards. They have been similarly subjected to threats to prevent them from intervening and exposing the scandalous torture conducted by in Abbas’ agencies.

The Committee concluded its report by saying that, as a result of brutal torture: “There are dozens of our sons who are suffering from chronic diseases; some became deaf while others now suffer from epilepsy. Among those released several suffer from involuntary urinal problems. Apart from the confirmed deaths there are many individuals whose fate is unknown. No human rights organization is capable of pursing the perpetrators, and there is no impartial judicial system to prosecute them.”

The statement also called upon the “free media to activate this painful matter, which has reached unbearable levels.”

MEMO Sources:
West Bank

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