How Israel gets away with Torturing Palestinians To Death #humanrights


English: Piece of File:Westbankjan06.jpg which...

By Charlotte Silver

26 February, 2013
Al-Jazeera

Six days after Arafat Jaradat was arrested by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet, he was dead. Between the date of his arrest – February 18 – and the day of his death – February 23 – his lawyer Kamil Sabbagh met with Arafat only once: in front of a military judge at the Shin Bet’s Kishon interrogation facility.

Sabbagh reported that when he saw Jaradat, the man was terrified. Arafat told his lawyer that he was in acute pain from being beaten and forced to sit in stress positions with his hands bound behind his back.

When it announced his death, Israeli Prison Service claimed Arafat – who leaves a pregnant widow and two children – died from cardiac arrest. However, the subsequent autopsy found no blood clot in his heart. In fact, the autopsy concluded that Arafat, who turned 30 this year, was in fine cardiovascular health.

What the final autopsy did find, however, was that Jaradat had been pummelled by repeated blows to his chest and body and had sustained a total of six broken bones in his spine, arms and legs; his lips lacerated; his face badly bruised.

The ordeal that Arafat suffered before he died at the hands of Israel’s Shin Bet is common to many Palestinians that pass through Israel’s prisons. According to the prisoners’ rights organisation Addameer, since 1967, a total of 72 Palestinians have been killed as a result of torture and 53 due to medical neglect. Less than a month before Jaradat was killed, Ashraf Abu Dhra died while in Israeli custody in a case that Addameer argues was a direct result of medical neglect.

The legal impunity of the Shin Bet, commonly referred to as the GSS, and its torture techniques has been well established. Between 2001 and 2011,700 Palestinians lodged complaints with the State Attorney’s Office but not a single one has been criminally investigated.

Writing in Adalah’s 2012 publication, On Torture [PDF], Bana Shoughry-Badarne, an attorney and the Legal Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, wrote, “The GSS’s impunity is absolute.”

Israel’s High Court has been extravagantly helpful in securing the Shin Bet with its imperviousness to accountability to international law, and thus enabling widespread and lethal torture.

In August of 2012, Israel’s High Court rejected petitions submitted by Israeli human rights organisations Adalah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and PCATI to demand that Israeli attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, carry out criminal investigations into each allegation of torture by the Shin Bet.

And in the first week of February, two weeks before Arafat was killed, the High Court of Justice threw out Adalah’s petition that demanded the GSS videotape and audio record all of its interrogations in order to comply with requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT) to which Israel is a signatory.

In May 2009, UNCAT condemned [PDF] Israel for exempting the Shin Bet’s interrogations from audio and video recording, noting that such oversight is an essential preventative measure to curtail torture. Yet despite this admonition, in 2012 the Knesset extended the exemption for another three years.

Rationalising its failure to comply with this most basic requirement of recording interrogations, the State maintains that it is in the interests of “national security” that its interrogation techniques not be made public.

Arafat was killed under torture. Torture is routine. But the following is not routine: upon the announcement of his death, thousands of Palestinians, already unified in solidarity with the arduous struggle waged by Palestinian hunger striking prisoners, responded in force. At least 3,000 prisonersrefused their meals; thousands poured into the streets of Gaza and impassioned demonstrations erupted across the West Bank. While the State of Israel continues to deploy its deadly arsenal of weapons to repress Palestinians, the banality of the evil of this regime is, as it will always be, eclipsed by the mighty Palestinian will for self-determination.

Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in San Francisco and the West Bank, Palestine. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

PRESS RELEASE- Investigate Palestinian detainee’s death in Megiddo Prison in Israel #Torture


 

PCHR
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

 PRESS RELEASE

 

 

 

 

 

Ref: 21/2013

Date: 25 February 2013

 

 

PCHR calls for investigation into the circumstances of Palestinian detainee’s death in Megiddo Prison in Israel

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls for an immediate and independent investigation into the circumstances of the death of a Palestinian detainee in Megiddo Prison in Israel following 4 days of detention. PCHR has serious concerns that the detainee may have been subjected to physical and psychological torture while he was being interrogated inside the prison.

 

Arafaf Shalish Shaheen Jaradat, 30, from Sa’ir village northeast of Hebron in the southern West Bank, died in Megiddo Prison on Saturday, 23 February 2013. Sources from the Israeli Prison Service claim that medical crews rushed to the prison and attempted to save Jaradat’s life, but that he died due to an apparent heart attack. They further stated that the victim was not on hunger strike at the time of his death.

 

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, Jaradat was arrested from his family home in Sa’ir village at approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 19 February 2013. Later that day, his family was informed by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club that Jaradat had been transferred to al-Jalama Detention Centre for interrogation. On Friday, 22 February 2013, he was transferred to Megiddo Prison, where he died the following day.

 

According to the family, they witnessed Jaradat being beaten heavily by Israeli soldiers during his arrest. The family reports that Israeli soldiers prevented him from changing his clothes and ordered him to say goodbye to his wife and children. The family emphasised the fact that Jaradat was in a good health and had never complained of any disease. Following Jaradat’s death, Israeli authorities announced that they had transferred his body to the forensic institute in Tel Aviv for autopsy and that they would allow a representative of the Palestinian National Authority, his family, and his lawyer to be present during the autopsy.

 

Jaradat was married with two children, aged 2 and 4, and his widow is pregnant. He was an employee of a fuel station belonging to his family in Sa’ir village.

 

 

PCHR is concerned that Jaradat’s death may have been a result of his being subjected to torture during interrogation, and:

 

1.         Calls for initiating an immediate and independent investigation into Jaradat’s death;

2.         Calls upon the international community to compel Israel to respect international law and humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the UN Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, and the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment;

3.         Expresses concerns for the deterioration of the detention conditions of more than 4,700 Palestinians who are currently detained in Israeli prisons and detention centres.

 

 

Palestine -Imminent Danger to Hunger Strikers


 

Al-Barq, (104th day) & Safadi (74th day)
Ramallah-Jaffa2 September 2012 — Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-IL) fear for the lives of the three remaining Palestinian hunger strikers held by Israel. Of utmost concern are the health conditions of administrative detainees Samer Al-Barq, today on his 104th day of renewed hunger strike following his previous 30-day hunger strike, and Hassan Safadi, today on his 74th day of renewed hunger strike following his previous 71-day hunger strike.

According to Addameer lawyer Fares Ziad following his visit to Ramleh prison medical clinic on 30 August, Samer was too weak to meet with him and could not get out of bed. Mr. Ziad met with Hassan and fellow hunger striker Ayman Sharawna, who is on his 64thday of hunger strike today. During their visit, Hassan told Mr. Ziad that both he and Samer had recently been taken to Assaf Harofeh hospital for a few days due to the further deterioration of their conditions and doctors informed them that their lives were under immediate threat.

Hassan was taken to Assaf Harofeh for testing from 27-29 August. Troublingly, Hassan was told by the doctors in the hospital that the tests revealed that his immunity level has fallen dangerously low; there is fluid in his lungs; and he has developed problems in his liver and kidneys including  kidney stones.

During his visit with Ayman Sharawna, Mr. Ziad learned that prison doctors informed Ayman that his life is also at risk. Ayman noted that in addition to very low immunity levels and cirrhosis in his liver, he suffers from terrible joint pain and back pain from previous chronic conditions, and that the IPS doctors refuse to give him pain medication until he stops his hunger strike.

 

Akram Rikhawi ended his hunger strike on 22 July after 102 days, upon reaching an agreement with the IPS to be released in January 2013. Following a visit to Akram on 25 July, the PHR-IL doctor recommended Akram’s immediate referral to a public hospital and to be immediately examined by a lung specialist. To date, this recommendation has not been implemented.

 

Samer is now the longest hunger striker in Palestinian history. He and Hassan have reached very critical stages in their prolonged hunger strikes, with doctors noting that they are at immediate risk of death. Nonetheless, Israel not only insists on the injustice of depriving them of their right to fair trial, but also continues to severely mistreat them, in the forms of physical brutality and psychological torture that is employed by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to get them to break their strikes.

Despite their severe medical conditions, both Samer and Hassan are still denied family visits and access to independent physicians and independent medical care. Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-IL are outraged by the IPS’ practice of approving visits by independent doctors only after court orders are issued.

In light of the severe deterioration of the health conditions of the remaining Palestinian detainees on hunger strike, Addameer, Al-Haq and PHR-IL urge the international community to immediately intervene on their behalf and demand:
·         That the agreements reached on 14 and 15 May 2012 be respected, including the release of administrative detainees who were promised release at the end of their current orders;
·         Unrestricted access for independent physicians to all hunger strikers;
·         The immediate transfer of Samer Al-Barq and Hassan Safadi, as well as all other hunger strikers, to public hospitals;
·         That no hunger striker be shackled while hospitalized;
·         That all hunger strikers be allowed family visits, while they are still lucid;
·         That Hassan Safadi and Samer Al-Barq, along with all other administrative detainees, in addition to Ayman Sharawna and other detainees that were released as part of the prisoner exchange deal in October 2011 be immediately and unconditionally released.

 

Joint Statement–Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with call for action against Israeli prison contractor G4S


The postage stamp of United Nations, Inalienab...

The postage stamp of United Nations, Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (1981) Русский: Почтовая марка Организации Объединённых Наций, неотъемлемые права палестинского народа (1981) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

17 April 2012–“Joint Statement: Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with call for action against Israeli prison contractor G4S

17 April 2012—Today, on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, we the undersigned Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations salute all Palestinian political prisoners, especially those engaging in brave civil disobedience through ongoing hunger strikes in protest to the ongoing violations of human rights and international law. Emphasizing imprisonment as a critical component of Israel’s system of occupation, colonialism and apartheid practiced against the Palestinian people, we call for intensifying the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to target corporations profiting directly from the Israeli prison system. In particular, we call for action to be taken to hold to account G4S, the world’s largest international security corporation, which helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system [1] , for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.

Imprisonment of Palestinians is a form of Israeli institutionalized violence encompassing all stages of the incarceration process. Palestinian political prisoners face systematic torture and ill-treatment during their arrest and detention at the hands of the Israeli military and are frequently and unjustifiably denied family and lawyer visits. Wide-ranging and collective punishments, including prolonged periods of isolation, attacks on prisoners by special military forces and denying access to education are used against Palestinian prisoners in an attempt to suppress any form of civil disobedience within the prisons. As of April 2012, there were 4,610 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons, including 203 child prisoners, 6 female prisoners and 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. 322 Palestinians are currently held in administrative detention, without charge or trial.[2]

The severity of injustice and abuse suffered by Palestinian political prisoners has been the drive for many prisoners to begin hunger strikes at different intervals in protest against harsh prison conditions, torture and ill treatment and Israel’s arbitrary use of administrative detention. While the recent hunger strikes of Khader Adnan, who ended his hunger strike after 66 days, and Hana Shalabi, who ended her hunger strike after 43 days, resulted in individual agreements, Israel and the Israeli Prison Service’s policies therein remain unchanged and are now aimed at containing the hungers strikers through punitive measures as well as cutting off their contact with lawyers and family. Today, an estimate of over 1,000 Palestinian political prisoners are reported to have joined in an open hunger strike in addition to at least 8 others already engaged in an open hunger strike, including Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, on hunger strike since 29 February 2012.

In light of this increasing campaign of civil disobedience from within the prisons, we demand accountability for all corporations that both enable and directly profit from Israel’s continued violations of Palestinian prisoners’ rights being committed with impunity. Specifically, we call for action to hold to account G4S, the British-Danish security company whose Israeli subsidiary signed a contract in 2007 with the Israeli Prison Authority to provide security systems for major Israeli prisons.[3] G4S provided systems for the Ketziot and Megiddo prisons, which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel in contravention of international law.[4] The company also provided equipment for Ofer prison, located in the occupied West Bank, and for Kishon and Moskobiyyeh detention facilities, at which human rights organisations have documented systematic torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners.[5] G4S continues to provide equipment to Israeli prisons.[6]

Moreover, G4S is involved in other aspects of the Israeli apartheid and occupation regime: it has provided equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank that form part of the route of Israel’s illegal Wall and to the terminals isolating the occupied territory of Gaza. G4S has also signed contracts for equipment and services for the West Bank Israeli Police headquarters and to private businesses based in illegal Israeli settlements.[7] A panel of legal experts concluded that G4S may be criminally liable for its activities in support of Israel’s illegal Wall and other violations of international law.[8]

We welcome the news that the European Union has announced that it has not renewed its contract for security services with G4S [9] following pressure from groups campaigning for Palestinian rights, and salute the previous decision of the Edinburgh University Student Association to block its contract with G4S.[10] We call upon other public and civil society institutions and also on private companies to follow suit and end their relationships with this company that acts in service of Israeli apartheid and other violations of international law. We demand that the Palestinian leadership bans G4S from private and public tenders, and ask for the strict application of the boycott legislation in the Arab world against companies cooperating with the Israeli prison system.

We also note that G4S is being actively opposed by other civil society groups elsewhere in the world for its role in controversial deportation and imprisonment regimes, abuse of workers rights, violations of universal human rights standards and its involvement in the privatisation of public services. Let us work together to expose not only G4S, but also the roles of imprisonment and private security companies as political tools to silence and intimidate communities all over the world.

Amid hunger strikes and the highly publicized prisoner exchange deal in October, Palestinian prisoners’ issues have gained recent attention in international spheres. However, despite this increased focus and the criticisms of these practices by United Nations bodies, there has been no institutional changes made by Israel in regard to the human rights violations being committed against Palestinian political prisoners and detainees.[11] In an attempt to counter Israel’s unwillingness to change its policies and the lack of accountability for its countless human rights violations, alternative measures such as preventing participation by companies such as the G4S proves to be one of the few remaining effective steps towards pressuring Israel to comply with international law. It is time overdue to break this chain of international complicity.

[1] http://www.whoprofits.org/articlefiles/WhoProfits-PrivateSecurity-G4S.pdf

[2] http://www.addameer.org/files/Brochures/addameer-palestinian-political-prisoners-brochure-2010.pdf

[3] http://www.whoprofits.org/articlefiles/WhoProfits-PrivateSecurity-G4S.pdf, p.7

[4] Article 77 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer of prisoners from occupied territory to the occupying country.

[5] http://www.whoprofits.org/articlefiles/WhoProfits-PrivateSecurity-G4S.pdf, p14-15

[6] http://corporateoccupation.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/targeting-israeli-apartheid-jan-2012.pdf, p.135

[7] Ibid.

[8] http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/RTOP-London-Session-Findings.pdf, p.18

[9] http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:118611-2012:TEXT:EN:HTML&tabId=1 (registration required)

[10] http://www.bdsmovement.net/2011/edinburgh-university-students-vote-to-ban-g4s-8279

[11] Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Israel, CERD/C/ISR/CO/14-16, 9 March 2012; Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, Israel CCPR/C/ISR/CO/3; Concluding Observations of the UN Committee against Torture, Israel, CAT/C/ISR/CO/4,14 May 2009; See “Statement by Robert Serry UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on Palestinian Prisoners, 10 February 2012; “Statement by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights.

issued by-  Al Mezan center for human rights  

download orginal statement here

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