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.