95% of Palestinians in Israeli prisons face torture, rights group says

95% of Palestinians in Israeli prisons face torture, rights group says
UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture marks an important time in history.
3 min read
26 June, 2020

The majority of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons have suffered torture, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said in a statement on Thursday.

"Israel adopts multiple methods of torture detainees physically and psychologically, through a system of comprehensive violence," it said.

"Detainees are subjected to sleep deprivation through continuous interrogation sessions for up to 20 hours (...) preventing blood circulation from reaching their hands, covering their head with a dirty bag, as well as continuous, beating, slapping, kicking, verbal abuse and intentional humiliation," the statement added.

There are currently around 5,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, though this number may we be higher.

The statement marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The UN day of observance marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one of the key instruments in fighting torture, came into effect.

Sir Malcolm Evans, Chair of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT), and Mr Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) released a joint statement:

“As the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to emphasise the absolute nature of the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.”

“As a captive population, persons deprived of their liberty are particularly vulnerable to violations of this right.

"Consequently, the role of torture prevention bodies – at the global, regional, and national levels – remains of primordial importance.”

‘State-sanctioned torture’

In February Israel was accused of torturing Palestinians amid a deadly increase in violence following a roadside bomb that killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl in the West Bank, with human rights groups condemning it as “legally-sanctioned torture.”

Three Palestinians were swept up in a sprawling manhunt and have been in and out of Israeli interrogation rooms, with their legal representatives accusing the state of torture after they were hospitalised with serious injuries.

One Palestinian man has been hospitalised with kidney failure and 11 broken ribs, while another man was nearly unrecognisable to his wife when he was wheeled into a courtroom.

Read more: As annexation looms, no one is ready to hold Israel accountable

A third was stitched up after being attacked by a security dog.

The Shin Bet launched a massive manhunt after the 23 August bombing killed 17-year-old Rina Shnerb. Such bombings have been rare in recent years.

Authorities blamed the attack on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) . In the following weeks, security forces arrested dozens of its members - suspected militants as well as politicians and student leaders.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected