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Popular committee says organizer tortured

March 23, 2010 10:40 A.M. (Updated: March 24, 2010 11:22 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - An organizer of popular resistance activities in the village of Al-Ma'asara alleged he was tortured while in Israeli prison, a report from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said on Monday.

According to a statement from the committee, Al-Ma'asara organizer Omar Ala Ad-Din was detained as he passed through the Container checkpoint, an internal West Bank military post, on 14 March.

Ala Ad-Din said he was beaten repeatedly, first by the soldiers who detained him and later by intelligence officers in the Russian Compound, an Israeli investigation center in Jerusalem. He said he was kicked, punched and shocked several times with a taser.

He said he was questioned about participation in the protests against the construction of Israel's separation wall, and accused of assaulting the soldier who arrested him.

The committee contacted several eyewitnesses in the car with Ala Ad-Din, the statement said, who alleged that no such assault occurred.

Ala Ad-Din was brought before a judge on Sunday, at which point he informed a lawyer that he had been tortured while in detention, the committee said, noting he is considering filing both criminal and civil suites, " to challenge the impunity and unaccountability of members of the Israeli armed forces."

According to the report, during the Sunday hearing, an Israeli judge "harshly criticized the prosecution and police, saying there is no evidence connecting Ala Ad-Din to any violence and ordered his unconditioned release on bail."

Representatives of the Israeli prison service, border police, and national police were not immediately available for comment.
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