Friday, July 29, 2011

'Israel uses banned torture methods'

A man looks at pictures of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails during a protest in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem). (File photo)

Source: Press TV

A Palestinian rights group says the Israeli Supreme Court has allowed Israeli interrogators to use banned methods of torture against Palestinian prisoners.

On Thursday, the Gaza Strip-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said the tribunal has allowed a “loophole” in its definition of torture, which permits practice of “torture with impunity,” the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported.

Accordingly, the interrogators could ask to be allowed to use the prohibited methods “if they believe a detainee poses an immediate threat to public safety.”

The rights group further said that Israel continues to use administrative detention against an excessively high number of Palestinians and for a prolonged period of time.

The rights body also said that Israeli jailors have practiced torture on Palestinian prisoners 85 times between May 2009 and April 2011.

One Palestinian detainee, Nadedh Ali Abed-Rabbo, says he was bound in stress positions, subjected to sleep deprivation and loud music and was spat on during a 42-day period of interrogation.

Gaza-residing Abed-Rabbo said he fainted four times and lost 12 kilograms during the questioning. He also said the harsh methods had made him seek medical care for loss of hearing, nervous attacks and chronic pain in the head.

There are around 9,000 Palestinians in Israeli detention centers. Their families have for long been calling on human rights organizations and groups to intervene in order to secure the release of their loved ones, many of whom have been incarcerated without charge, trial and sentence.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, nearly 200 Palestinian inmates have so far died in Israeli confinement either under torture or due to medical negligence.

The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, B'Tselem, has recently said that at least 40 Palestinian prisoners have suffered chronic illnesses like cancer, renal failure and strokes.

The Israeli central prisons fail to offer the constant medical care required for the ailing prisoners.

Rights groups say Palestinian prisoners are being denied basic rights and subjected to harsh treatment in Israeli detention.

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