International Mid East Media Centre (IMEMC) By Celine Hagbar Thurs., Nov.29, 2018
In a ruling that directly violates international law and conventions against the use of torture, the Israeli High Court ruled Monday that Israeli intelligence officers were justified in their use of torture against a Palestinian prisoner. The ruling sets a precedent for the future use of torture and the expansion of such techniques used against Palestinians held in Israeli custody.
The case, which involved Palestinian prisoner Fares Tbeish, was brought to the Israeli High Court after lower courts ruled that the torture was justified.
In 2012, the case alleges, Israeli officials from the Shin Bet intelligence agency forced Tbeish into stress positions, inculding arching and tying the body in the “banana” position. They also subjected him to severe physical and mental violence, including beatings.
The ruling was made by a three-justice panel of Yitzhak Amit, David Mintz and Yosef Elron. The three judges ruled that no policy changes needed to be made, and that the current policy and practice regarding torture is sufficient.
In December 2017, according to the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post, a court ruling made it easier for the intelligence agencies to justify torture – but such techniques still violate international law.
According to Al Jazeera, “more than 1,000 complaints from Palestinians have been submitted to a government watchdog body over the past 18 years, but this is the first time one has led to a criminal investigation.
“Many Palestinians are jailed based on confessions either they or other Palestinians make during Shin Bet questioning. Israeli military courts almost never examine how such confessions were obtained or whether they are reliable, say lawyers, contributing to a 99.7 percent conviction rate.
“Last month, in freeing a Palestinian man who was jailed based on a false confession, an Israeli court accused the Shin Bet of using techniques that were “liable to induce innocent people to admit to acts that they did not commit’”.
According to the Electronic Intifada, “The impunity extends to circumstances where there is strong evidence that torture led to the death of a detainee, such as Arafat Jaradat, a 33-year-old father of two who died after an Israeli interrogation in Megiddo prison in 2013.”
Israeli legal scholar Itamar Mann told the Middle East Monitor that this ruling is “probably the most permissive as of yet in terms of accepting physical abuse as a legitimate method of interrogation in national security cases”.
Full article here: http://imemc.org/article/israeli-high-court-rules-to-allow-expand-use-of-torture/