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Hebrew University
[Political Science] Dr. Yishai Menuhin, director of PCATI: Eradicate soldier violence against Palestinian detainees
New Report by PCATI - No Defense: Soldier Violence against Palestinian
A report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
published this morning reveals the widespread phenomenon of violence
against bound Palestinian detainees by IDF soldiers and the almost absolute
indifference of the IDF, the Ministry of Defense and the Knesset towards
the existence of this phenomenon and the need to take action in order to
eradicate it completely.

The report titled “No Defense: Soldier Violence against Palestinian
Detainees” focuses on a large number of incidents of violence against
detainees after they had been arrested, bound, and no longer present a
danger to the soldiers. Abuse occurs at various junctions - immediately
following arrest, in the vehicle transporting the detainees, and during the
time they are held in IDF military camps prior to their transfer to
interrogation and detention facilities. At times abusive practices involve
dogs that are employed by the military forces during arrest operations and
transported in vehicles along with Palestinian detainees. On certain
occasions, the ill treatment of Palestinian detainees is highly violent
resulting in serious injury. At other times, abuse manifests itself in a
routine of beating, degradation and additional abuse. Minors, who must be
granted special protection under both Israeli and International Law, are
also victims of abuse. The soldiers who carry out arrests do not treat
minors with special care and at times – as revealed by various
testimonies – exploit their weakness.

The report reveals that although the phenomenon of violence against
Palestinian detainees by soldiers is blatantly illegal, it is reinforced by
a weak legal system which conducts only a small number of investigations
and legal proceedings that concern cases of abuse by soldiers. Particularly
prominent is the almost absolute indifference to the phenomenon of the
authorities, including the military hierarchy, the Minister and Ministry of
Defense, the Knesset and the State Comptroller. The report also discloses
that the IDF has no directives which regulate the treatment of Palestinian
detainees in the period of time between their arrest and their placement in
detention and interrogation authorities.

The report is based on 90 detailed testimonies that reached PCATI relating
to the arrest of Palestinians between June 2006 and October 2007. Parts of
these testimonies are quoted in the report. Moreover, the large number of
complaints point to a much wider phenomenon, when it is taken into
consideration that many Palestinians who are injured during arrest do not
complain, and that the complaints filed by many detainees do not reach
PCATI. The report is based, in addition, on the testimonies of soldiers and
statements of commanders and other relevant persons which shed additional
light on the phenomenon and the failure of the army to act upon it.

The importance of the appropriate treatment of prisoners and detainees is
in the limelight this week because the issue of the release of Israeli
prisoners and missing Israeli soldiers is in the forefront of the public
agenda, and in view of the marking, on Thursday, June 26, of the UN
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. We are witness to
inhuman treatment of the soldiers who are cut off from their families,
rendering their loved ones helpless. The ill treatment of Palestinian
detainees, as described in the report, does not reach such an extreme
degree, but it is severe enough to compel all of us to act in order to
bring an end to the phenomenon.

The report was written by Noam Hoffstater on behalf of the Public Committee
Against Torture in Israel (PCATI). The legal analysis was written by
PCATI’s Legal Advisor, Attorney Eliahu Abram and by Dr. Yuval Ginbar,
senior advisor to PCATI and the author of the book “Why Not Torture
Terrorists?” that was published this year by the Oxford University

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    1.  Why are you "promoting" Menuhin
     From james, Sent in 06-07-2008
    2.  I support you. Terrorists especially
     From , Sent in 06-07-2008
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