Mirroring ISIS in Syria, the Palestinian Authority arrested an Arab resident of Ramallah after he posted a video onto Facebook of his son cursing one of the wives of Muhammad, according to a report in Al-Watan.
The man said he posted it because he was converting from Sunni Islam to Shiite Islam.
In the video, the boy, encouraged by his father, curses Aisha, Muhammad’s 9-year-old third wife whose father, Abu Bakr, was the first Sunni Caliph. The Shiite’s claim Ali was meant to be the Caliph. Aisha is connected to the Hadith’s which are central to the Sunni version of Islam.
The boy’s father should consider himself lucky that the Palestinian Authority, unlike ISIS, will probably only torture and execute him and not his child – though one can never be sure when it comes to those wacky Palestinian Authority Islamists.
Israel’s Justice Ministry is working on a bill to declare torture of suspects during an interrogation a criminal act, Israel’s Deputy Attorney General Dr. Roy Schöndorf (International Law) on Tuesday told a panel of the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) in Geneva. The proposed new law is yet to receive the endorsement of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked or of AG Avichai Mandelblit, and it will certainly face stiff opposition from the security apparatus and possibly from Prime Minister Netanyahu.
According to Ha’aretz, it isn’t clear at this point whether the proposed law would recognize the Israeli Supreme Court’s allowance for a “ticking bomb” situation.
Recently, in the Duma village arson/murder investigation, the ticking bomb provision was expanded by former AG Yehuda Weinstein to include, essentially, any prisoner out of whom Weinstein wanted to squeeze a confession, or the “ticking shmicking, you make him talk” rule.
Article 1.1 of the Convention against Torture defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”
The Committee against Torture (CAT) is a body of human rights experts that monitors implementation of the Convention by State parties. Members are elected to four-year terms by State parties and can be re-elected if nominated.
The Israeli Supreme Court 1999 decision prohibited the use of violent interrogation means, in the absence of a law that sets clear limits in this area. According to that ruling, Shabak interrogators are not allowed to use shaking and creative tying up of prisoners, nor can they use sleep deprivations. But then AG Elyakim Rubinstein issued directives specifying in which cases Shabak interrogators would not be indicted for shaking, tying up and sleep-depriving their prisoners.
Dr. Schöndorf and the rest of the Israeli delegation are expected to appear again on Wednesday before the CAT, to respond to a few concerns raised yesterday by the committee regarding the new legislation.
Written by Alexander J. Apfel for TPS News Agency.
Torture is not always torture, depending on the definition and who is defining it, according to Tel Aviv-based human rights lawyer Yoram Fay.
He explained to TPS that the legal intricacies are more complex than is often understood by a general public less familiar with international law’s rules of interrogation.
Torture is a matter of definition. If you lock someone in a cell, he might consider it torture because he can’t leave. But it is legal. It is not comfortable, but to some people this is considered torture.
As long as it doesn’t cause irreversible damage, we would consider it to be a lawful tactic.
He further elaborated on other cases which are often interpreted as torture but in fact are legally permissible, such as depriving suspects of sleep for long periods of time, subjecting suspects to loud music, or placing suspects in a cold room.
It is allowed by law even if the person feels tortured. A long investigation which takes 18 hours might feel terrible and as though you are being tortured, but it is allowed and it is not considered torture. In fact, you are allowed to deprive a suspect of sleep for up to 72 hours.
He said that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) does not “do things that are real torture” although “normal people” would think that shouting in your face is a form of torture.
The Shin Bet issued a statement on Thursday that all its actions during the case have been verified by the relevant judicial authorities and it rejected the notion of any misconduct. It also denied allegations recently circulated in the media that one of the suspects had attempted to commit suicide.
Thousands are demonstrating near the Chords Bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem, in protest of the unwarranted incognito incarceration and torture of Jewish youths and minors by the Shabak. The protesters are blocking the entrance to the city.
Police arrested six demonstrators and a policeman attacked Makor Rishon news photographer Miri Tzahi, pushing her camera into her face. She was taken to Terem medical center. Her face was covered in blood, according to a TPS report.
A protest against Shabak torture in Jerusalem on Dec. 20, 2015. Photo credit: Moshe Atlo /TPS
An account that made it to Facebook on Sunday revealed that one of the minors being allegedly tortured by the Shabak tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists. The same minor has reportedly begged the remanding judge throughout his time in Shabak’s hands: “They’re turning my arms into a bow and they hold me upside down until my hands start to burn. Each day it gets worse. Give me poison. I can’t take it any more.”
The minor showed the marks of his suicide attempt to the court on Sunday. He was examined by the district psychiatrist who determined that the minor is under emotional pressure as a result of his interrogation. It was also revealed to the court that the same minor was given pills by the prison doctor because he couldn’t fall asleep as a result of the interrogations and the torture.
The minor told the judge: “I am ready to confess to everything, but I can’t explain how. Just leave me alone, damn it.”
The boy requested medical treatment for his back for the stretching and torture he endured. He burst into tears and said, “I can’t take it any more.”
Attorney Adi Keidar from the legal aid society Honenu who represents this minor said in a statement, “Today we presented to the court the hands of the minor where it can be seen clearly that a suicide attempt had been committed, all of it as a result of the torture he is undergoing in the Shabak interrogations.”
“By the end of the day we have been exposed to the continuation of the terrible saga in which we saw clearly today that everything the suspect has been telling us he already told before the court while being prevented from seeing us. He described all those shocking things and no one responded. This is a shocking event that must worry us, the fact that the court system link arms with the prosecution, the police and Shabak.”
The Honenu organization said in a statement on Sunday: The things that were revealed in this case are shocking and terrifying. The responsible elements have crossed all the lines and decided to spill the blood of Jewish children, plain and simple. This is a spiritual eclipse experienced by the State of Israel.”
The Shabak released a statement saying the report was made up and baseless.
(JNi.media) The US Consulate in Jerusalem announced that it plans to intervene in order to protect the legal rights of an American citizen who is among the suspects in the torching of the house in Duma village. Several Arab family members were killed in the July 30 arson. According to Walla, the consulate wrote the suspect’s parents: “We will contact the Israeli authorities to arrange a visit by the consul. We have noted his medical condition and his need for medication for his allergy problems, and will talk about it with the Israeli authorities.” The letter concluded with, “Thank you for updating us on the condition of the detainee.”
The suspect’s parents appealed to the US consulate in Israel as well as to US Senators, demanding their intervention in the case in light of the fact that he is an American citizen. In their letter, the parents noted that their son was prevented from seeing his lawyer, that he is being held in an unknown location, and that his medical condition—he suffers from allergies and ADHD—has deteriorated during his interrogation period. “The suspect, a US citizen, should receive protection for his rights,” the letter pleaded.
According to attorneys Hai Haber and Adi Keidar, who represent some of the suspects in the arson murder case for the Honenu legal aid society, the Shin Bet has been acting with brutal forcefulness. “There’s been a violent and brutal investigation that included disappearing people without bringing them to trial, and without allowing their families or attornies to see them, just to force confessions from the suspects,” they said. “Something alarming has happened in Israel, and once the protocols will be published the citizens of Israel will be horrified and won’t even remember the arson event in light of the conduct of this investigation.”
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel also criticized the policy regarding the detainees. “Using these tools is unacceptable and prevents a suspect from obtaining legal advice maintaining contact with the world outside the interrogation room. The Association objects to it,” attorney Roni Pelli told Walla.
“Of course we have to solve this murder, we but have to use legal interrogation methods to prosecute the culprits. If you want to get to the truth it is certainly not through a course that leads to a false confession because of the pressure applied to the detainees and the violation of their rights,” said Pelli.
The Shin Bet said in response to the claims made by the family: “The Shin Bet is a national organization and all its activities are performed in accordance with the law. Shin Bet interrogations are conducted in accordance with the law and court rulings, and are overseen by the Attorney General, the State Attorney’s Office and the courts.”
(JNi.media) Back in September 2014, it was revealed that a joint Shin Bet (Shabak) and IDF operation exposed and foiled an extensive military infrastructure of Hamas, which operated throughout Judea and Samaria, recruiting military units and carrying out attacks against Israeli targets. The infrastructure operations, controlled by Hamas headquarters in Turkey, involved Hamas members who had been trained abroad, and were placed in Judea and Samaria to carry out terror operations. The joint operation arrested 93 suspects, out of whom 46 were interrogated by the Shin Bet. The operation also captured 24 M16 rifles, six pistols, seven rocket launchers, explosives materials, and about $150,000 in cash.
The newly hatched Hamas underground was involved in the kidnapping of three Jewish boys which led to the 2014 Operation Protective Edge against Gaza.
Now, according to a report in Haaretz, the Shin Bet is demanding that the military prosecution sign plea bargains with the Arab defendants, who will receive disproportionately light sentences, considering this is a case of the largest-scale Hamas infrastructure effort in Judea and Samaria. The report suggests the reason for the light deals has to do with the Shin Bet looking to avoid having its operatives testify in court about the interrogation methods used against detainees in this case.
According to the Shin Bet website, Hamas is highly motivated to open a second front against Israel in Judea and Samaria, as part of its plan to destabilize the Palestinian Authority.
In 1987, after complaints about excessive use of violence, the Landau Commission— a three-man panel set up by the Israeli Government—drew up guidelines condoning “moderate physical pressure” when necessary. In 1994, State Comptroller and later Supreme Court Justice Miriam Ben-Porat found that these regulations were violated and senior Shin Bet commanders did not prevent it. In 1999, the Supreme Court heard petitions against Shin Bet methods, including “forceful and repeated shaking of the suspect’s upper torso, in a manner which causes the neck and head to swing rapidly,” manacling of the suspect in a painful position for a long period of time, and the “frog crouch” consisting of “consecutive, periodical crouches on the tips of one’s toes.” The Court, in a heralded, landmark decision, ruled that the Shin Bet did not have the authority, even under the defense of “necessity,” to use these methods. The Shin Bet claims it now uses only psychological interrogation methods, although B’Tselem and Amnesty International continue to accuse it of using torture.
The father of murdered Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh on Wednesday called on the international community to wipe out the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and offered his condolences to King Abdullah II.
In an interview with Jordanian state-run television, Safi al-Kasaesbeh said that he had met with the Hashemite monarch twice since his son had been captured by ISIS on December 24. Once meeting included Crown Prince Hussein, the Jordan Times reported.
“The King told me he was following up personally on Muath’s case,” the pilot’s father told the interviewer. “He said ‘Crown Prince Hussein, may God protect him, is no dearer to me than Muath.’
“Today I offer my condolences to His Majesty over the death of his son Muath, and I implore the Almighty to grant his other son [Prince] Hussein long life,” he said.
The bereaved father added that his son was the son of all Jordan and all Jordanians, and that he “feels the loss at every Jordanian home.” Jordanians need to unite behind their leaders and military forces, he said, to fight terrorism and those who target Jordan.