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Israel: 'Internal security agency tortures prisoners with electric shocks'

HEBRON, WEST BANK - MARCH 1: Palestinian protesters holding banners gather during a demonstration to support Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, Hebron on March 1, 2022. ( Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency )

Israel's internal security agency, Shin Bet, uses electric shocks to torture detainees and prisoners during its investigations, a specialist in prisoners' affairs said on Wednesday. According to Raafat Hamdouneh, the agency violates international law with the interrogation techniques that it uses.

Describing the forms of torture used by Shin Bet, Hamdouneh explained that its agents "cover heads with contaminated bags, confine prisoners in very small spaces where they can neither stand nor sleep… make them stand for long periods, spray cold and hot water on their heads, and strip them and tie them to small chairs in such a way as to put stress on the spine."

He accused the agency of using "excessive force" during interrogations. "They beat prisoners all over their bodies, including the chest, stomach and other sensitive areas of the body; they burn the prisoners with cigarettes… sometimes take dogs in to bite them. They also use electric shocks, sleep deprivation and extreme cold, as well as violent shaking that can paralyse the prisoners or cause permanent disabilities."

Hamdouneh's remarks followed the publication of a report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz detailing the treatment of Palestinian prisoners between 1985 and 2000. He insisted that such treatment is ongoing, and called for international investigations into Israeli crimes against Palestinian prisoners and the state's violations of international laws and conventions. "All torture used in Israeli prisons is illegal under international law," he concluded.

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