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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘torture’

PA Times Charges of Israeli ‘Torture’ of Children with Kerry’s Visit

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The Palestinian Authority opened up the propaganda taps Wednesday with charges that Israel and the “occupation forces” are “torturing” Arab children.

The allegations were reported several hours before U.S. Secretary of State John Kelley landed in Israel. He previously has incited Arab violence by warning Israel that if it does not do as he says, it might face a new intifada.

“The international community is urgently required to act against Israel and punish the occupation state for violating international laws in the first instance, and in the second to save arrested Palestinian children who are under Israeli torture,” PA Minister of Detainees’ Affairs Zeyad Abu Ain told GulfNews.com.

“Meetings have been organized between European Union ambassadors and Palestinian children released from Israeli prisons and detention centers where the children told the ambassadors their torture stories,” he added. “We have solid and undisputed proof of violations by the Israeli occupation against Palestinian children and the Israelis cannot deny this occurs,” he stressed.

It is true that Israel arrests minors, Jews and Arabs alike. That is because the minors commit acts of violence, like Arabs throwing rocks at Jews and Jews throwing rocks at police.

The Palestinian Authority apparently considers that it is “torture” for a child to be in jail. It certainly is not pleasant, nor is it pleasant to be on the receiving end of a rock.

But Israeli jails really are not jails. The Gulf News report called them “iron cages.”

And the children really are patriots, the Palestinian Authority minister said. “Those patriotic children are usually sent to unauthorized detention centers in the spreading colonies in the West Bank,” the official told Gulf News. “The children are not kept in official detention centers or prisons so the occupation forces can treat them in their own way.”

Torture

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Why do we inflict torture on each other so much? We have been doing it from the earliest of times. In Syria rival groups are inflicting the most indescribable and barbaric pain on each other (and let us not forget that Assad’s sub-humans started torturing and castrating children). If the reason for this cruelty were to try to get information that might lead to saving lives, this might arguably leave some room for mitigation. But all I see is primitive sadism and barbarism regardless of what the victims themselves may have inflicted on others. I am completely opposed to any torture. It says something very disturbing about those who inflict it.

Torture is not just the inflicting of pain. We can do that to ourselves in the gym. Military training often forces recruits to undergo deprivation and pain. Endurance athletes willingly drive themselves to suffer. Some sports, such as boxing and extreme fighting, are calculated to cause pain. What we mean by torture is the intentional inflicting of pain by one human on another simply out of sadism or because a state or power has authorized it. There is a nuance. Torture that will inevitably lead to death where there is nothing one can do to stop or reduce the suffering as opposed to torture that might be ended if certain goals are achieved. But they are both evil.

In the ancient times, if you conquered a king or tribe, inflicting pain was both an incentive for victory and an expression of superiority. It gave the victors total control over the vanquished. The more pain you inflicted the happier were your gods. I won’t go into the psychological pathology of this sort of cruelty. Sometimes it was payback for resisting and avenging your own losses. But the most common aim of such torture (other than human sadism, something that has been replicated in recent scientific experiments) was to so terrorize one’s opponents that they would capitulate without a fight. Romans impaled, and left to agonizing and prolonged death, hundreds of thousands of their captives in order to discourage revolt. Genghis Khan inflicted incredible agony on conquered cities to deter others from resisting. There was no escape, nothing one could do to stop the long, drawn-out agony.

Medieval monarchs would hang traitors, then while they were still alive, take them down and castrate them. Then slice open their torsos and pull out their organs for public display. King Edward I, who expelled the Jews, was very keen on hanging, drawing, and quartering. Perhaps there is a connection between being an anti-Semite and being a sadist! They were still burning traitors in the early nineteenth century in England. Twenty thousand spectators witnessed the last one. Impose a terrible death on traitors and others will be less likely to try. That’s what Germans under Hitler did, as well as every other hell associated with that infamous era.

Just as barbaric was the torture used as part of the judicial process. If a suspected criminal survived a ducking in the river or having his body pierced or mangled, this would prove he was in either forgiven by God or in league with the devil. While if he died that was atonement or punishment. You could not win. There is a recognizable change in a victim’s state when he knows he will die regardless. Judicial torture was only banned in England and the USA towards the end of seventeenth century. Confessions achieved through torture were, and sadly still are, often accepted throughout the so-called civilized world, although the methods are slightly less gruesome and less visibly degrading. But that’s not because we humans are any less cruel. Just that we fear public exposure. Gangsters, dictators, and ordinary evil people who feel themselves above or beyond the law continue, around the world, to torture to death thousands of ordinary human beings each year.

I suspect the survival of torture for so long owes as much to the Church as to human nature. Early Christians were tortured by the Romans to such an extent it seems they thought it only fair to do the same to their own theological enemies. The “Holy” Inquisition thought torture would eradicate its own heretics. As a sideline, it might encourage someone to convert to Christianity. Torture persists in some because they were founded on the belief not only that they are the possessors of the sole truth, but also that they had a mission to force it on everyone else if they could. Why is it that before they slash and kill, Muslim fanatics yell out “Allahu Akbar”, implying it is the will of their God? I guess if you think nonbelievers will burn in hell forever, aren’t you doing them a favor if a quick burn now or a slit throat is nothing in comparison?

Survivor of North Korean Jail Warns of ‘Holocaust-Era Inaction’

Friday, June 21st, 2013

When guards dragged Shin Dong-hyuk from his North Korean cell in 1995, he was pretty sure the end was near.

Dong-hyuk, then just 13, was born in the prison known as Camp 14, not far from Pyongyang. Camp 14 is part of a network of political prisons believed to be the largest in the world, where an estimated 150,000 dissidents and their families live in conditions reminiscent of Holocaust-era concentration camps.

As he was brought to the camp’s execution field, Dong-hyuk realized he wasn’t the one due to be killed that day — it was his mother and brother. The boy calmly watched the executions, he says now, having been brainwashed into believing his family members deserved to die. After all, he was the one who had turned them in.

“They hanged her and shot him for planning to escape,” Dong-hyuk, now 31, told JTA in Brussels. “I was only brought to watch.”

In 2005, Dong-hyuk (pronounced dong-YUKE) became the only known survivor of Camp 14. In the years since, he has traveled the world raising the alarm about North Korea’s treatment of political dissidents, including five visits to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and a meeting with survivors in 2009 at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. He plans to visit Yad VaShem in Jerusalem later this year.

To date, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva has convened 19 special sessions, none on North Korea. Israel has been the subject of six — more than the Syrian civil war, in which 90,000 people are believed to have died, or the genocide in Darfur, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands, according to some estimates.

Dong-hyuk’s father and grandfather were incarcerated because two of the grandfather’s brothers had defected, Dong-hyuk said in a recent interview on “60 Minutes.”

His accounts of his treatment at the hands of sadistic guards, and the arbitrary torture to which he was subjected, are reminiscent of Holocaust stories, but Dong-hyuk is careful to avoid such comparisons, saying the only thing Nazi camps have in common with those in North Korean is “that they never should have existed.”

Yet he feels a certain kinship with survivors of the Nazis. “Through the horrific stories of Holocaust survivors, I could see my own life in the prison camps,” Dong-hyuk said. “

Yoon Yeo-sang of the Seoul-based Database Center for North Korean Human Rights likenins global inaction on North Korean camps to the world’s indifference to the Nazi genocide in Europe.

“What goes on in North Korea is maybe worse than the Holocaust, where the Nazis were active for 12 years,” Yeo-sang said. “The enslavement of the camps in North Korea has been going on for decades.”

Dong-hyuk lost a piece of his index finger as punishment for breaking a machine at a military factory where he and his family were forced to work. Another time he was given a choice between hunger and a beating. He chose the beating.

“We were constantly hungry,” he said. “Some ate rats and insects to survive. I was hungry for 23 years.”

The North Korean government has long denied the existence of political prisons, and in the absence of other escapees, there is no way to corroborate details of Dong-hyuk’s story. But Yeo-sang says that Dong-hyuk’s testimony is consistent with accounts by survivors from different areas.

Dong-hyuk said the trigger for his escape was meeting an inmate named Park, who had been on the other side of the electric fence and told stories of people eating pork and chickens. In the course of their escape attempt, Park was electrocuted and died on the fence. Dong-hyuk says he crawled over his friend’s body to escape.

From the camp, Dong-hyuk walked to China, bribing locals to avoid detection. He now lives in South Korea, where he runs an organization, Inside NK, that tries to publicize the cause of North Korean prisoners and document the testimony of survivors.

“Too much attention goes to [the North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un and his wife and too little attention to ending the camp reality,” Dong-hyuk said.

But there is also a personal reason for his devotion to the cause: Dong-hyuk says he feels guilty for betraying his mother and brother as a boy and hopes that admitting to his actions and raising awareness for other prisoners will serve as a small act of penance.

More than 500 Fatah and Hamas Media Freedom Violations Since Split

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has released a statement saying that since “the internal Palestinian division in mid-June 2007,” the “Palestinian people are still suffering from its very bad and negative effects.”

Palestinian Journalists are subjected to massive violations which include arrest, torture, beatings, detention, and repeated calls for investigation, in addition to the closure of media outlets, the prevention of journalists from collaborating together, and the prevention of distributing daily newspapers, the rights Network says.

The number of violations against journalists and the media committed by both sides since the start of the division, when Hamas evicted the PLO from Gaza, reached beyond 500 violations, reads the statement.

One of the results of this brutality has been the promotion of self-censorship on the part of journalists and media outlets, seriously curtailing the quality of news reports available to Palestinians.

The Network says there has been some improvement in the area of media freedoms in 2012 and in the first months of 2013, but adds that “the serious violations against journalists during the past month do not promise serious breakthroughs in the status of media freedoms, especially with the stalled efforts to implement a reconciliation.”

Having said that, the Network quickly reminds us that the real, and biggest violators are still “the Israeli occupation and its settlers,” whom the Network accuses of committing more than 800 violations during the same period, including the killing of eight journalists.

Captain Eytan Buchman, IDF Spokesperson, responded to an inquiry by The Jewish Press regarding the above accusation of killing journalists:

“The IDF takes every possible measure to contend with security threats using the most minimal, effective measures. In many cases, but more so in Gaza, terrorist groups such as the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad exploit civilians and even the media as human shields. While this represents a conscious and deliberate decision to endanger local residents and journalists, the IDF still takes every possible measure to minimize collateral damage, even while rockets launched from urban areas in Gaza continue to target Israeli civilians.

“During operation ‘Pillar of Defense,’ the IDF went beyond what was required both by international law and the IDF’s military code. This included the use of pinpoint fire, real-time intelligence on targets to prevent civilian causalities and warnings being given to local residents prior to IDF operations.

“Numerous sources reveal the cynical exploitation of media coverage. For example, AP themselves live-tweeted the strike on a media building that housed an Islamic Jihad meeting. For more examples, please see this article.

Why Doesn’t the EU Condemn PA Torture?

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

The E.U. has refrained from condemning the Palestinian Authority or Hamas in wake of a report that pointed to an increase in human rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

This is the same E.U. that regularly condemns Israel for building in the settlements or seizing funds belonging to the Palestinian Authority.

More recently, the E.U. condemned Israel for demolishing 22 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

But when it comes to human rights violations committed by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the E.U. is prepared to do its utmost to avoid angering the two Palestinian governments.

In response to the report, which was released by the Palestinian Independent Commission For Human Rights, the E.U. missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah, in an apologetic tone, only expressed “concern” over recurrent cases of torture and ill treatment of detainees in Palestinian prisons.

And instead of criticizing or condemning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for human rights violations perpetrated by his security forces, the E.U. missions chose to “welcome” his instruction to respect the prohibition of torture in his detention centers and prisons.

It is worth noting that the E.U. and some Abbas loyalists, including Fatah propagandists and media outlets, were the only ones to “welcome” his decision to ban torture.

So not only is Abbas not condemned for the death of two detainees in his prisons and the crackdown on freedoms of speech and the media, he is in fact being praised by the E.U. for ordering his security and intelligence officers to stop torturing Palestinians.

One would have expected the E.U. to take a tougher stance toward the Palestinian Authority and Hamas human rights violations, as indicated by the report.

But the E.U. missions to Ramallah and Jerusalem are apparently reluctant to take such a position because of their direct and indirect involvement in funding and supporting the Palestinian Authority and various Palestinian institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The E.U. also seems to be afraid of criticizing the Palestinian Authority and Hamas out of concern for the safety of its representatives, especially those who operate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

As the human rights group’s report shows, there has been a 10% increase in the number of complaints of torture and mistreatment by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority during 2012 compared with the year before.

More than half of the 306 complaints about torture that were received last year came from Palestinians who had been detained or imprisoned by Abbas’s security forces in the West Bank, the report revealed.

Altogether, 11 detainees died in Palestinian Authority and Hamas prisons last year, according to the report.

Still, the E.U. did not see any need to refer to these cases. Nor did the E.U. comment on the report’s accusations that Abbas’s security forces are continuing to crack down on journalists and academics and ignore court rulings.

Expressing “concern” over serious human rights violations will not deter the Palestinian Authority or Hamas from pursuing their anti-democratic practices against their own people.

Praising Abbas for instructing his security forces to stop torturing Palestinian detainees is like welcoming a convicted armed robber’s promise to retire.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Pretexts for Terror

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

In a definite setback for their ethos, the violent Palestinian riots over the past week were mis-founded: Israeli Health Officials from the Abu-Kabir Forensic Institute announced today that Arafat Jaradat’s death last week was not the result of poisoning or physical violence against him.

Palestinian administrative detainee Arafat Jaradat’s autopsy found no evidence of poisoning or physical violence, stated a report released by the Health Ministry on Thursday.

Jaradat died on Saturday in the Megiddo Prison. The Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine continues to run tests to determine the cause of death. (Dr. Itay Gal) YNET So who can we blame for Palestinian violence? Settler violence [TM] and Price Taggers [TM]? Ooops. Seems like the Palestinians fabricated that too.

The Shai District Police found that the alleged “price tag” incident which took place at the West Bank village of Kusra was fabricated.

The police findings show that the claim, stating that six vehicles were set on fire, is untrue and that the Israeli identification card presented by one of the village residents was lost in the area a few days prior. (Itamar Fleishman, YNET). Fair readers, do not be alarmed.  There many do-gooders over at Haaretz concocting new slanderous stories as you read these very lines.

But here’s a photo of Palestinian violence below….just in case you want to remind yourself what’s really going on.

Photo: Tazpit News Agency

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