The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Adalah, filed an appeal Wednesday, through its lawyer, Abeer Baker, to the Israeli Prisons department and the government’s legal advisor, demanding them to give direct orders to halt the continuous assaults conducted against the detainees in Israeli detention camps especially in Shatta – Galboa detention camp.

The appeal requested them to stop forcing the detainees to strip in order to be searched, and to stop any assaults against detainees who refuse to do so.

Adalah said that this appeal came after several detainees complained to it about the bad treatment they receive which includes assaulting them and forcing them to strip.

Several detainees said that they were severely beaten by the army when they refused to undress and when resisting the soldiers’ attempts to undress them by force.

The detainees informed Adalah that soldiers started lately undressing the detainees under claims of searches whenever they asked to see a doctor.

It is worth mentioning that Adalah filed a complaint in August, 2003, after soldiers attacked Ibrahim Saleh, when he refused to undress, army claimed that an investigation was conducted in this case, yet no charges have been filed against the soldiers.

Lawyer Baker, said that the Law only entitles the higher officer in the detention to do body search, and that he can use this method only if he suspects on certain basis that the detainee is hiding something under his clothes.

Baker added that conducting bare body search on the detainees before seeing a doctor, is illegal and contradicts the law in addition to severely violating the basic rights of the detainees of privacy which is guaranteed by the law.

It is worth mentioning that undressing the detainees in order to search him is only legal when the detainee approves this method and agrees to be searched this way, if he refuses, soldiers should obtain a written order by the higher officer in detention after the detainee pledges his argument.

In all of the cases reported to the center, soldiers did not ever obtain any written order, and when the detainees rejected, they were severely beaten and violated.

Adalah said that the European court for Human Rights ruled several times in similar cases and decided that bare body search is only used when there is a need to ensure security in the detention and to stop a possible crime.

The court also ruled that such random searches are considered a sort of torture and contradicts with the third article of the European Document of Human Rights, which forbids all sorts of torture.

Meanwhile, Adalah said that there is no reason and logical explanation for undressing the detainees in order to be searched especially under the strict procedures imposed on the “Security detainees” while criminal prisoner are not subjected to such procedures.

Baker said that the obvious reason behind strip-searching is to “humiliate the detainees and insult them in order to break their spirits and will”.

Adalah demanded the specialized authorities to issue direct orders which forbid violence against the detainees and bans stripping them under claims of searches, and demanded forming an investigation committee in order to investigate these violations.

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