Lawyers from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights have visited prisoners detained during the Israeli assault on Gaza and confirmed evidence of torture, according to the PNN. The lawyers reportedly gained access to Ashkelon Prison, where they visited 4 Palestinian detainees arrested during the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, subsequently confirming that the prisoners were subjected to various forms of torture whilst in detention.
These forms included being beaten and being shackled between two chairs for long hours; a practice called ‘shabeh’, which inflicts sensory isolation, sleep deprivation, physical and psychological pain.
According to PCHR’s documentation, PNN reports that Israeli forces arrested dozens of Palestinian civilians during the offensive on the Gaza Strip; 31 of whom were transferred to Israeli prisons.
Later, 4 of the aforementioned detainees were released, while 27 remained in custody and were charged of being members of armed groups — save one Samir al-Najjar, who was charged of being an â€œillegitimate combatant.’
The accusation of belonging to armed resistance groups is crucial, says the PCHR, for as they are considered prisoners of war, no official indictments can be presented under international law.
The PCHR continues its efforts to pursue Israeli war crimes through international courts, and based on the principle of universal jurisdiction, to bring them before justice, given that torture is an international crime.
See the PCHR Weekly Report on Israeli Violations in the oPt.