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Rights group demands immediate release of unconscious detainee

Palestinian detainee Samer Arabeed [Twitter]
Palestinian detainee Samer Arabeed [Twitter]

Palestinian rights group Addameer called upon the Israeli occupation authorities on Sunday to release Samer Arabeed, 44, immediately, after an interrogation during which he fell unconscious.

"All confessions taken under torture and ill-treatment are illegal and cannot be taken as evidence in court," Addameer pointed out. "Taking those confessions means the right to a fair trial is violated and thus the detention is arbitrary."

In a statement on the issue, Addameer noted that its lawyer had been allowed to meet Arabeed inside an Israeli hospital, where he found him "unconscious". According to the rights group, "He was rushed to hospital in Israel after suffering some serious deterioration in his health due to torture and ill-treatment during interrogation."

Samer Arabeed was arrested on Wednesday, 25 September, by a special unit of the Israeli occupation forces. During his arrest, he was beaten harshly by the forces using their guns. He was taken to Al-Mascobiyya interrogation centre in West Jerusalem and was issued with an order banning him from meeting his lawyer, Wafa news agency reported.

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The following day, Arabeed attended a court session without his lawyer present. During the hearing, he told the judge that he had severe chest pains, that he couldn't eat anything and that he was vomiting continually.

"We have no information as to why Samer was not transferred immediately to the hospital," said Addameer. "In fact, his interrogation continued using torture and ill-treatment techniques that we are not aware of at the moment."

It wasn't until the morning of Friday, 27 September, that Arabeed was transferred to hospital, although his family and lawyer were not informed about this. The lawyer said that the Israeli authorities allowed him to visit Arabeed for a very short time at Hadassah Hospital.

The prisoner, he confirmed, was "unconscious and had several broken ribs and marks all over his body. He was suffering from severe kidney failure."

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