The Israeli Supreme Court has been accused of redefining torture so as to permit it after a major new ruling was greeted with dismay by local and international human rights groups.
Last week the court – sitting as the High Court of Justice – denied a petition brought by The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) on behalf of Palestinian prisoner Asad Abu Ghosh. Read more
A recent article published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has confirmed the extent to which Shin Bet interrogators subject their prisoners to torture.
Methods include slapping the head “to hurt sensitive organs like the nose, ears, brow and lips”, forcing a handcuffed individual to squat against a wall for long periods of time, and placing the suspect bent backwards over a chair with his arms and legs cuffed. Read more
In recent days, Israeli authorities have announced charges against two, Gaza-based employees of international NGOs – one from World Vision, one from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Each individual faces accusations of varying degrees of assisting Hamas.
Many have expressed scepticism about the charges, particularly given the lack of due process. Mohammed Halabi, for example, was detained without charge for 50 days and alleges that he was tortured by Shin Bet officials during his interrogation. He was also denied access to a lawyer for three weeks. Read more
On February 26, Palestinian journalist Mohammad Al Qeeq ended what has widely been reported as one of the longest hunger strikes on record. Al Qeeq was detained at his home in Ramallah by Israeli forces last November and subsequently placed under administrative detention without any charges, and no trial. After 94-days of abstention, a deal was struck with the Israeli authorities. He is now set to be released in two months, on May 21.
But the journalist’s hunger-strike was notable for another reason; the case threw into sharp relief aspects of Israel’s military regime in the West Bank that it prefers to keep out of the spotlight. Read more