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Rights group details Israel’s recent torture of Palestinian detainees

Palestinians stage a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, in Ramallah, West Bank on 21 December 2019. [İssam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians stage a demonstration in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, in Ramallah, West Bank on 21 December 2019. [İssam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]

A Palestinian rights group has published details of what it describes as “the systematic use of torture and ill-treatment” against Palestinian detainees in Al-Mascobiyya interrogation centre.

Prisoners’ rights organisation Addameer yesterday revealed “hard evidence” of the “crime of torture and ill-treatment” committed against Palestinians in recent months, describing “the cruel physical and physiological torture and ill-treatment” that a “number of detainees were subjected to”.

As reported by Addameer, towards the end of 2019 Israel’s Shin Bet “subjected a number of detainees at Al-Mascobiyya interrogation centre to severe physical and psychological torture”, in an attempt “to extract confessions and force them into self-incrimination”.

Addameer stated that it is the legal representative for around 50 cases of the detainees in interrogations, with the detainees including “university students” and “human rights defenders”.

READ: Palestinian boy beaten by Israeli soldiers hours after prison release 

Palestinian prisoners can be interrogated for up to 75 days without being charged, and also prevented from seeing a lawyer for up to 60 days.

According to the report, “the torture methods used against those detainees resulted in visible marks, and bruises on their bodies”, while several

[detainees] were not able to walk or even move due to the harsh beatings and stress positions they were subjected to.

Yet doctors at the interrogation centre clinic failed to document these marks, and even “approved the detainees’ physical capability to be sent back to interrogations”.

Addameer revealed that the Israeli courts only accepted one request by lawyers to obtain pictures showing torture marks of a single prisoner, rejecting such requests in other cases.

According to the rights group, “the role played by the interrogators, the doctors, and the judges at both courts were complementary to each other, which was evidently revealed in the court sessions and its protocols.”

Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international conventions, Addameer concluded, “torture against Palestinian detainees is systematic and widespread in Israeli occupation prisons and interrogation centres.”

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