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Israel/OPT
01.12.00
Urgent Interventions

'Israel: allegations of torture in Israeli prisons

Case ISR 011200

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Israel.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, (LAW), a member of the OMCT network, of allegations of torture in Israeli prisons.

According to the information received, Israeli occupation soldiers and police are alleged to have been involved in torturing Rami Iz'oul, 18, from the village of Housan near Bethlehem, at the Kfar Atsyon interrogation centre. They are also believed to have tortured Arwad Thamanji, 20, from Jenin.

During a prison visit by LAW's lawyer Labib Habib, Iz'oul told him that Israeli soldiers had captured him in his family's house on 30 October 2000 and beat him severely. He was later transferred to Kfar Atsyon, where he was also beaten and had freezing water poured over his head during an interrogation. Iz'oul also stated that he was taken to Hadassa hospital for medical treatment. He stayed there one night before being taken back to be interrogated. He said that he was forced to sign a document of confession under threat.

Thannji, who was arrested on May 19 2000, stated that he was severely beaten by Israeli soldiers and pulled along the ground until he lost consciousness. He was later transferred to Al Afoula hospital and then to Megiddo prison, where he is today. He complained of severe beating, assault and threats on several occasions, adding that he has not been receiving appropriate medical treatment and that the doctor refused to treat his wounds. The lawyer also met with detainees Ra'ouf Abu Gheih from Ezariyyeh and Jaser Sawafta from Toubas, who are being held for entering Israel without a permit.

The International Secretariat is gravely concerned that in spite of the State's claims, and the fact that torture was officially made illegal on 6 September 1999, it is clear that torture is still used by Israel against innocent people to extract general information or to force the signing of false confessions prepared by the security services in advance. Furthermore, LAW notes that throughout Israel's occupation these confessions have been used to convict Palestinians to lengthy prison terms, as the Israel military courts tend to accept these confessions as valid, even in the absence of other evidence.

Actions requested

Please continue to write to the authorities in Israel urging them to:

i. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the aforementioned persons and all prisoners and order their immediate release in the absence of valid charges;
ii. Order an immediate investigation into the alleged arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions provided by law;
iii. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses

Ehud Barak, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Office of the Prime Minister, 3 Kaplan Street Hakirya, Jerusalem 91007, Israel, Faxes: +972 2 566 4838 and +972 3 691 7915

Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice, 29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91029, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 6285 438

Minister of Defense, Ministry of Defense, 7 "A" Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel. Fax: +972 3 697 62 18.

Minister of Police, Ministry of Police, PO Box 18182, 3 Sheikh Jarrah, Kiryat Hamemshala, Jerusalem 91181, State of Israel. Fax : + 972 2 5826 769.

The Embassy of Israel in your respective countries.

Geneva, 1st December 2000

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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