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Incarceration in the secret prison "Facility 1391": the case of SA
11447/04 | 9733/03 | documents: 4  |  Updates: 1 In January 2003, SA was arrested at his home. After short periods in several detention facilities, SA was transferred to the secret prison, known as Facility 1391, which is located in a secret military base. On the way there, his head was kept covered, and he was not told of the destination. On arrival, he had to undress completely in front of soldiers, and led from room to room with his eyes covered with sacking. Ultimately he was placed in a narrow airless foul-smelling cell, its door and walls painted black; a single dim light kept on 24 hours a day and a plastic container to use as a toilet – a cell the interrogators dubbed "the grave". SA was denied sleep for the three initial days of interrogation. During interrogation sessions, he was tied to a low chair in the painful "Shabah" position, the interrogators beating him intensely, sometimes pushing their feet against his genitals. Finally after 10 days in the "grave", SA was led to a shower, because "his smell was bothering the interrogators". Throughout his detention in the secret prison, SA did not see and was not seen by anyone other than his interrogators and warders.

SA's testimony is similar to the testimonies of other interrogees in Facility 1391. Operating covertly, the facility was used to hold detainees in degrading conditions, and subject them to acts amounting to torture, including physical and sexual abuse. Its existence became known during proceedings on two habeas corpus petitions by HaMoked in 2002, to reveal the location of three detainees held incommunicado.

In October 2003, HaMoked filed a petition for the closure of the secret prison, asserting its operation was illegal. In the framework of the petition, the state formulated an arrangement to limit use of the prison, and preclude its use for holding Israelis or OPT residents. Under the arrangement, the state is required to notify the court of any intention to use the facility.

In December 2004, HaMoked petitioned for a criminal investigation of SA's complaint about his incarceration in the secret prison in 2003, where he was kept in inhuman conditions, degraded and tortured by interrogators of the Israel Security Agency, and ill-treated by soldiers who serve as warders in the prison. In a brief and outrageous judgment which fully endorsed the discretion of the Attorney General and the Military Advocate General, the High Court of Justice dismissed this and a similar petition, without any substantive review of the arguments contained therein.

According to the state, the prison has been inoperative since 2006. In January 2011, seven years after it was filed, the petition against Facility 1391 was dismissed.


Torture in Secret Facility 1391: HCJ 11447/04 HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual v. State of Israel (Judgment of June 14, 2006)
Criticism  |  11447/04  |  1.3.2011
Criticism
In 2003, HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual filed a public petition against the very existence of a secret incarceration facility in Israel, Facility 1391, located in a secret military base in central Israel. Testimonies gathered by HaMoked suggested that under the shroud of secrecy and in the absence of public and judicial scrutiny, detainees in the Facility were subjected to hu...
HCJ 11447/04 HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual et al. v. The Attorney General et al. Judgment
Judgment / Supreme Court  |  11447/04  |  14.6.2005
In a short judgment, the High Court of Justice denied two petitions against the decision not to investigate thoroughly complaints of Palestinians who were tortured and held in inhuman conditions during their interrogation in Facility 1391. Despite the severity of the acts, allegedly conducted in a secret and unsupervised facility, and notwithstanding other testimonies describing similar acts, t...
HCJ 9733/03 – HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual v. State of Israel et al. Petition for Order Nisi and Interim Order
Petition to HCJ  |  9733/03  |  30.10.2003
In its petition, HaMoked requests the HCJ to close the secret detention facility referred to as Facility 1391. The petition relates how the existence of the facility became known; offers testimonies on detention conditions and the inhuman interrogation methods used in the facility, such as sleep and food deprivation, sexual degradation, threats, poor sanitary conditions, failure to provide prop...
Secret Prison Affidavit of S.A.
Affidavit  |  8.7.2003
Affidavit of a resident of the West Bank who was held in Facility 1391 in 2003. He describes how he was brought to the facility, the degradation upon arrival, the total isolation, sleep deprivation, physical pressure during interrogation, spoiled food, and the cold and dampness in the facility.
Updates
14.6.2005
The High Court of Justice denied petitions against the decision not to investigate the complaints of Palestinians who were tortured and were held in inhuman conditions in the secret prison, where they were interrogated: The short and revolting judgment does not delve profoundly into the grave claims raised by the petitioners, and affirms the discretion exercised by the Attorney General and the ...
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