Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Israel’s compliance with UN Convention – 12 months on

 [DCI - 1 August 2011] – On 29 July 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee (the Committee) issued Concluding Observations after reviewing the State of Israel’s compliance with the Convention on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR). In the Concluding Observations, the Committee raised a number of concerns relating to the prosecution of Palestinian children in Israeli military courts and made the following recommendations and expressions of concern:
  • Refrain from holding criminal proceedings against children in military courts;
  • Ensure that children are only detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time period;
  • Ensure that parents or close relatives are informed where a child is being detained and provide the child with prompt access to free and independent legal assistance of its own choosing;
  • Expressed concern that children can be detained for up to eight days before being brought before a military judge;
  • Expressed concern that children are interrogated in the absence of parents or close relatives and a lawyer, and they are not audio-visually recorded. The Committee recommends a guaranteed right that all proceedings involving children are audio-visually recorded;
  • Expressed concern that children of the age of 16 are tried as adults in the military courts, and recommends that children not be tried as adults;
  • Expressed concern that children are not informed promptly, in a language they understand, of the charges against them;
  • The Committee is ‘very concerned’ at allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of children and recommends that reports of torture and ill-treatment of detained children are investigated promptly by an independent body; and
  • Recommends that all trials are conducted in a prompt and impartial manner, in accordance with fair trial standards.
The Committee also requested that Israel provide an update in 12 months on the implementation of the recommendations relating to children. Pursuant to this follow up procedure, DCI-Palestine today submitted a report to the Committee containing updated information relevant to the implementation of its recommendations.
The report finds that Palestinian children continue to be systematically ill-treated in the Israeli military court system and none of the Committee’s recommendations have been satisfactorily implemented in the past 12 months.