RAMALLAH, Monday, June 26, 2023 (WAFA) – Marking the International Day Against Torture, which coincides, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said Israel continues to torture and ill-treat Palestinian detainees and prisoners, describing it as one of the most prominent systematic and consistent crimes that the Israeli occupation authorities pursue against Palestinian prisoners and detainees through various policies, methods, and tools, physically and psychologically.
It said that since the beginning of this year and with the escalation in the resistance against the Israeli occupation, the occupation authorities have escalated the practice of torture of detainees in an attempt to quell the resistance.
This is in addition to banning meetings with their lawyers, and long periods of interrogation, some of which exceeded more than a month, on a continuous basis, not excluding women, children, the elderly, the sick, and the wounded.
It said that the purpose behind the torture is to extract confessions from the detainee, kill his spirit as a human being, and impose more control over him, adding that at least 73 prisoners have died in Israeli jails since the start of the occupation in 1967 as a result of torture.
According to the testimonies of hundreds of detainees and prisoners, all of them, without exception, were subjected to various types of torture and ill-treatment from the moment of arrest, through the interrogation, and even after their imprisonment.
Torture begins with the interrogation period, said the PPS. These methods include sleep deprivation through continuous interrogation sessions of up to 20 hours, restraining the detainee during the interrogation period, tightening the restraints to prevent blood circulation from reaching the hands, beating, slapping, kicking, verbal abuse and deliberate humiliation, in addition to threatening to arrest a family member, threatening to sexually assault the detainee or a member of his family, threatening to demolish homes or to kill, deprivation of using toilets, deprivation of showering or changing clothes for days or weeks, exposure to extreme cold or heat, exposure for continuous noise, insults, threats, and others.
There are other methods that fall under the so-called “military” interrogation, including when the detainees are forced to bend backward on a chair, which causes pain and back problems, or to stand for long periods with the knees bent and the back supported against the wall. The method of severe pressure on various parts of the body, in addition to violent shaking and suffocation by various means and other methods.
The detainee is also kept for long periods of time in solitary confinement in small, windowless, and very cold cells. He is also denied sleep and the right to basic hygiene items and clean food and drink. As a result of this torture, dozens of prisoners have died, said the PPS.
Torture is not confined to the first stage of detention, specifically the interrogation period, but continues during imprisonment.
The Prisoner’s Society said that despite the clear and explicit position of international law on torture and its absolute prohibition, the Israeli occupation authorities continue to use it, as part of its fixed policies and grave violations that it continues to implement, without the slightest regard for international laws and conventions, including the Convention against Torture.