• Campagnes

Israel: further information on: torture / fear of continued torture

, N° d'index: MDE 15/004/1996

'Ala Omar Abu Ayash, aged 29 from Beit Omar, Khaldun Abu Ayash, brother of the above, also from Beir Omar , 'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi, aged 29, from Jabaliya, Gaza: 'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi remains at risk of torture and ill-treatment during his continuing interrogation. AI is extremely concerned that the Supreme Court of Israel has effectively permitted the use of such treatment. 'Ala Omar Abu Ayash and Khaldun Abu Ayash were removed from interrogation and are now held in administrative detention.

EXTERNAL AI Index: MDE 15/04/96
16 January 1996
Further information on EXTRA 163/95 (MDE 15/42/95, 20 December 1995) - Torture
/ Fear of continued torture
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi, aged 29, from Jabaliya, Gaza
'Ala Omar Abu Ayash, aged 29, from Beit Omar
Khaldun Abu Ayash, brother of above
'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi remains at risk of torture and ill-treatment during
his continuing interrogation. Furthermore, Amnesty International is extremely
concerned that the Supreme Court of Israel has effectively permitted the use
of such treatment.
Despite an injunction issued on 24 December 1995 preventing the General Security
Service from using "physical force" in his interrogation, the GSS continued
to subject 'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi to various forms of torture and ill-treatment,
including shackling his legs to a chair (not a small chair as is frequently
used in interrogating Palestinian prisoners, but a normal sized chair),
handcuffing his hands behind his back, blindfolding him, and depriving him
of sleep for three days.
During this time, his lawyer, André Rosenthal, working with the Israeli human
rights organization HaMoked, submitted an affidavit and claimed that such
treatment amounted to physical force in violation of the injunction. The GSS
replied that the treatment was to prevent 'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi attacking
his interrogators, or escaping. They said they did not shackle his legs all
the time, but in times when security was a concern. In the first week of January,
'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi confessed to participating in the Beit Lid suicide
bombings which killed 20 Israeli soldiers and one civilian in January 1995.
On 11 January, the Supreme Court decided that 'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi was very
likely to have additional information concerning planned attacks against
Israelis, and that if he revealed this, human lives could be saved. Therefore
the Court felt that it could not justify maintaining the injunction against
the use of physical force, and rescinded it. The judges said that they were
not giving permission to use steps beyond those acceptable under the law and
the (secret) Landau guidelines. However, Amnesty International considers that
these guidelines permit the use of torture and ill-treatment including violent
shaking, shackling the detainee in painful positions while depriving him of
sleep for prolonged periods, among other forms of abuse.
Amnesty International condemns the deliberate and arbitrary killings of
civilians by armed opposition groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad and it
does not dispute the right of governments to bring to justice those who have
committed criminal acts. However, torture and ill-treatment are banned under
international human rights law regardless of the charges against a suspect.
Israel ratified the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
and Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1991. Methods frequently used during
the interrogation of security suspects contravene Israel's obligations under
this convention.
2
'Ala Omar Abu Ayash and Khaldun Abu Ayash were apparently removed from
interrogation by 24 December 1995, and are now held under administrative
detention. Amnesty International continues to campaign against the use of
administrative detention and to call for a thorough investigation into the
allegations that 'Ala Omar Abu Ayash and Khaldun Abu Ayash were tortured and
ill-treated during interrogation.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that, by lifting the injunction against the use of physical
force against 'Abd al-Halim Belbaysi, the Supreme Court has effectively exposed
him to torture and ill-treatment, because the Landau guidelines for
interrogation do not safeguard detainees from such treatment;
- stating that Amnesty International does not dispute the right of governments
to bring to justice those who have committed criminal acts but that torture
or ill-treatment of anyone, whatever crime they are alleged to have committed,
is outlawed by international law which Israel has ratified;
- calling for interrogations in Israel to conform to the Convention against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
APPEALS TO:
1. Shimon Peres
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan Street, Jerusalem 91919, Israel
Telegrams: Prime Minister Peres, Jerusalem, Israel
Telexes: 25279 mpres il
Faxes: +972 2 664 838
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
2. David Liba'i
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91029, Israel
Telegrams: Justice Minister, Jerusalem, Israel
Faxes: +972 2 285 438
Salutation: Dear Minister
3. Ahron Barak, President of the Supreme Court
Hakiriya, Jerusalem, Israel
Telegrams: President, Supreme Court, Jerusalem, Israel
Salutation: Dear Justice Barak
COPIES TO:
Yossi Beilin
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan Street
Jerusalem 91919, Israel
Faxes: +972 2 664 838
Judge Michael Ben-Yair
Legal Advisor to the Government
Ministry of Justice
3
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91029, Israel
Faxes: +972 2 285 438
and to diplomatic representatives of Israel accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 20 February 1996.

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