Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee
Torture during interrogation: the case of MM
1278/05 | 320/98 | documents: 2  |  Updates: 1 On January 3, 1998, MM was arrested at a checkpoint near the village of Bani Na'im. The student, age 23, who was on his way to the Bir Zeit University, was taken to the Kiryat Arba police station, and then moved to other police stations. On January 8, 1998, he was brought to the interrogation wing of the Israel Security Agency (ISA) in the Shikma Prison, where he suffered a horrific ordeal of torture: the interrogators beat him, humiliated him and threatened him, constantly deprived him of sleep. He was kept the "Shabah" position, hooded, his hands bound at an awkward angle, with loud music sounding almost incessantly. Upon news of MM's interrogation under torture, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice to suspend authorization to use such methods of interrogation. In its response, the state declared that physical means would not be used against MM, but in reality, the interrogators continued to deprive him of sleep. HaMoked filed another petition, in which it cautioned against the possible harmful effects of prolonged sleep deprivation. Thereupon, the state declared it would allow MM an adequate number of hours of sleep per day.

At the time MM was taken into custody, he was in good physical and mental health, with no previous illnesses or health issues. However, on February 27, 1998, following a violent incident, likely prompted by a psychotic episode, MM was placed in the closed psychiatric wing at the Ayalon Prison. For three weeks, MM was treated with antipsychotics and antidepressants, and then was released, having been found unfit to stand trial.

MM's condition upon release was appalling. MM was unresponsive, suffering from anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances, therefore he was sent to the Ramallah Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims. Months of psychotherapy and medication treatment were needed before MM was able to interact with the environment. Still, years later, when he was in a much better condition, his post traumatic symptoms had not completely disappeared. In January 9, 2005, MM filed via HaMoked a civil claim against the state for the sever damages the ISA interrogators caused him. The complaint charged the state with direct liability and/or vicarious liability for the actions of the interrogators, and demanded compensation for the impact on his ability to work and the costs of treatment, as well as compensation for his pain, suffering and mental anguish. HaMoked also demanded increased and punitive damages to reflect both the severity of the actions and of the damages. The state failed in its attempts to deflect responsibility and deny the allegations against it: after three psychiatrists gave evidence as to MM's deep mental problems brought on by his "interrogation" by ISA, the court urged the parties to reach a settlement in the amount of NIS 250,000, largely over the non-monetary damages suffered by the plaintiff.

On November 15, 2009, more than eleven years after he was tortured by ISA, MM received monetary compensation from the state.

CC 1278/05 - Manasra v. The State of Israel Statement of Claim
Complaint  |  1278/05  |  9.1.2005
HaMoked's civil claim against the state for damage caused to a Palestinian tortured during an ISA interrogation. The claim is based, inter alia, on the HCJ's judgment that torture in ISA interrogations was illegal. Following his interrogation, the plaintiff exhibited signs of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and an inability to interact with the surroundings, and was found incompetent to s...
HCJ 320/98 - Manasra et al. v. The Israel Security Agency Petition for Order nisi and an Intermediary Order
Petition to HCJ  |  320/98  |  15.1.1998
HaMoked's petition against the torture of a Palestinian detainee during interrogation and pre-interrogation waiting period. The interrogee was, inter alia, kept bound in the Shabah position and subjected to extended sessions of sleep deprivation. The petitioners argue that under Israeli law the respondent cannot use force or violence against a person during interrogation, and that the methods e...
Claim for damages following torture during interrogation: Claim filed by HaMoked for physical and mental injuries suffered by a Palestinian who was tortured during General Security Service interrogation (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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