Palestinian detainee in very critical conditions after Israeli interrogation

Oct 01,2019

‘It is utterly outrageous that the use of torture during interrogations continues to be sanctioned by the Israeli authorities,’ Amnesty International said.

Palestinian detainee has been hospitalised in very critical condition after he had "undergone severe torture" in Israeli custody, his lawyer has said.

Lawyer Mahmoud Hassan said on Sunday that his client, Samir Arbeed, 44, is on a respirator at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital and had "suffered broken ribs and kidney failure" a day after he was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces.

According to the prisoner rights' group Addameer, after Arbeed was arrested on Wednesday, he was harshly beaten by the Israeli forces using their guns.

He was then taken to Al-Mascobiyya interrogation centre in Jerusalem and an order was issued, banning him from meeting his lawyer.

The following day, Arbeed had a court session without his lawyer, Addameer said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the session's protocols, Arbeed informed the judge that he suffers from severe pain in his chest, cannot eat anything and throws up continually.

"We have no information of why Samer was not transferred immediately to the hospital and in fact his interrogation continued using torture and ill-treatment techniques," Addameer stated.

On Saturday evening a lawyer from Addameer was informed through a phone call from one of the interrogators that Arbeed is unconscious, on artificial respiration and in a "critical situation.”

Unjustified torture

In the statement, Addameer called on the Israeli authorities to release Arbeed as confessions taken under torture and ill-treatment are illegal and cannot be used as evidence in court.

"Taking those confessions means the right to a fair trial is violated and thus the detention is arbitrary," Addameer noted.

According to the Convention against Torture, no "exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war" can be used as a justification for torture, which includes circumstances relating to counterterrorism.

Torture amounts to a war crime under the Rome Statute and when systematic and widespread, amounts to a crime against humanity.

“It is utterly outrageous that the use of torture during interrogations continues to be sanctioned by the Israeli authorities, from the Shin Bet, through the executive branch and all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director.

“Under international treaties, which legally bind Israel, the use of torture cannot be justified under any circumstances. This case exposes Israel’s claims that its judiciary upholds human rights as a complete sham.

“The use of torture cannot be justified under any circumstances. This case exposes Israel’s claims that its judiciary upholds human rights as a complete sham,” Higazi said.

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