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Israel/OPT
02.12.99
Urgent Interventions

'Israel: further reports on the health and situation of Su'ad Ghazal

Case ISR 251199.2CC
Follow-up of case 251199.1CC and 251199.CC
CHILD CONCERN


The International Secretariat of OMCT has received new information regarding the following situation ISRAEL.

Brief reminder of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT was informed by a reliable source of the detention of Su'ad Hilmi Ghazal, 16 since her arrest by Israeli soldiers on December 13, 1998.

She was arrested, following a claim by a female settler from Shavei Shomron that Su'ad had tried to stab her. She was subsequently taken to Kedumim settlement where she was allegedly beaten by Israeli settlers. From there, she was taken to Ramle prison where she was allegedly interrogated and tortured. She was held incommunicado for 27 days, 17 of which were in solitary confinement. Following repeated appeals from the Palestinian Red Crescent, her family was able to visit her.

According to the information, Su'ad's lawyer, Khaled Quzmar, last visited her on November 4. He reported that she has problems with her kidneys and has lost weight. She has also gone on hunger strike in protest, for at least one month, accepting only one meal a day from her captors.

The International Secretariat was then informed, by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) a member of the network, of new information concerning the detention of Su'ad Hilmi Ghazal, 16 since her arrest by Israeli soldiers on December 13, 1998.

According to the information, attorney Mr. Khaled Quzmar from the DCI Palestine Section, visited Su'ad Ghazal on November 4, 1999 in Ramle prison and again on 28th November 1999. Immediately after his last visit, he informed PCATI that Su'ad Ghazal had not been beaten or tortured in any way while held in custody or while under interrogation, as previously alleged. He reported that Su'ad Ghazal suffers from headaches, a cough and an infection in her urinary tract. He reported that she claims that she has not been able to see a doctor in three weeks and has only been treated with tablets of Acamol. PCATI spoke to the prison authorities on 28th November who claimed that Su'ad Ghazal is under care of the prison doctor and clinic.

Mr. Quzmar also reported that at the beginning of November, Su'ad Ghazal began a partial hunger strike of one meal a day to alert public opinion to her situation.

Furthermore, on Saturday 27th November 1999, representatives of Medical Foundation, London, psychotherapist Rami Heilbronn and Urologist Dr. Elizabeth Gordon from St. George Hospital in London, attempted to visit Su'ad in prison, but their request was rejected because they had no fixed appointment.

The next hearing will take place on December 15th 1999, in the military court that has subsequently moved to Salam.

New Information

The International Secretariat of OMCT has received information from the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) with further reports on the health and situation of Su'ad Ghazal.

According to the information, Attorney Bu'lus visited Su'ad on 25th November 1999 in Ramle prison and reported that she is no longer holding a hunger strike, is feeling good and is receiving medical treatment in response to her medical complaints.

Furthermore, Attorney Bu'lus reported that Su'ad was caught 'in the act' (while attempting to stab a settler) by a boarder control and, in the course of the arrest, while attempting to remove the knife from her hand, she was hit by the boarder patrol.

There were no reports from Su'ad to Attorney Bu'lus of torture or any physical pressure used against her while she was under interrogation.

Apparently, Su'ad's trial has been delayed because firstly, the court insisted that Su'ad undergo psychological testing to determine whether she could stand trial. This test proved that she could. Secondly, that the military court in Dotan was closed and transferred to the new court in Salam and, therefore there were delays in trials.

Actions requested

Please write to the Israeli authorities urging them to:

i. continue to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Su'ad Hilmi Ghazal at all times and ensure continued access to medical care;

ii. ensure Su'ad Ghazal's right to a fair and impartial trial by a competent civil court and that all her procedural rights be guaranteed;

iii. guarantee all human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards, particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Israel.


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.
General Antoine Lahad South Lebanon Army, c/o Lieutenant-General Shaul Mufaz, Chief of General Staff, 7 `A' Street, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel, Faxes: + 972 3 691 6940

The Embassy of Israel in your respective countries

Geneva, 2 December 1999
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
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