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Palestinian detainees tortured in Israeli custody, PLC member says

April 24, 2008 4:54 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2008 4:54 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - A member of the Palestinian Legislative Council said on Thursday that the Israeli army policy of abuse and humiliation of Palestinian detainees is illegal.

Issa Qaraqe' issued a press statement in which he claimed Palestinian civilians are being illegally tortured during official investigations and these torture tactics are being ignored by senior army officials and often take place in Israeli military jeeps.

"This policy isn't aimed at getting information from the detainees as much as it is an act of revenge and constitutes sadistic and immoral behavior exercised by the Israeli army and border guards against Palestinian prisoners, and these practices are barbaric," Qaraqe' said.

Qaraqe revealed that 85% of detainees, and especially children, are subject to abuse, beatings and humiliation before and during questioning.

Palestinian prisoners who say they suffered at the hands of the Israeli military describe various forms of torture -

They claim Palestinian citizens are routinely arrested without an arrest warrant, before being taken to a public place and beaten.

They also claim detainees are often attacked while being transferred to prisons in military jeeps.

They described the most frequent methods of physical and psychological torture as -

Being punched and kicked or beaten with rifle butts.

Being forced to strip naked.

Being used as human shields.

Dogs being set on detainees.

Detainees being forced to imitate animals.

Having their money stolen.

Sexual harassment.

Being forced to sing the Israeli national anthem.

Qaraqe' added that these practices have been used since the first Intifada and the offending soldiers go unpunished.

He added that the humiliation of Palestinian detainees is seen as entertainment for the soldiers.

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