Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UN committee charges Israel with maintaining secret jail

[ 06/05/2009 - 10:48 AM ]

GENEVA, (PIC)-- The UN committee against torture has denounced the Israeli general security apparatus for using a secret detention center for interrogation that could not be visited by the Red Cross, lawyers or relatives of those detainees.

The ten independent experts, members of the committee, said that the installation "1391" was located in an unspecified area in Israel. They added that the committee received complaints on torture, maltreatment and inappropriate detention conditions in this installation.

The committee said that some of the Israeli security officers were exercising practices against Palestinian detainees that violate the convention against torture whether during the interrogation or after it.

Such practices include severe beating, forcing detainees to sit in awkward positions for long period, tightening the handcuffs, violently shaking the detainee and turning his head suddenly and violently, the committee elaborated.

It criticized Israel for issuing military detention orders against 12-year-old children for eight days whether they were indicted or not and without appearing before a military judge.

The committee noted that the military memo allows retaining those detainees for 90 days without seeing a lawyer and for 188 days without charge.

It asked Israel on the measures taken in response to the UNHCR call for an immediate end to the siege on Gaza Strip, which deprives one and a half million Palestinians from the simplest human rights.

The committee is expected to hear answers from Israel before issuing its report at the end of its current session on 15th May.