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20.10.2004

Torture: Following a petition filed by HaMoked, B’Tselem, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel to the High Court of Justice demanding to stop the use of torture in the interrogation of a Palestinian detainee, the State Attorney's Office announced that according to the General Security Service, there was no intention to use physical measures in the remainder of the interrogation. In light of the announcement, a joint request for dismissing the petition was filed      

On 18.10.04, B’Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, represented by Attorney Andre Rosenthal, filed a petition to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) demanding to stop to the use of “special permits” (that essentially allow torture) in the interrogation of Am’ad Qawasmeh. 

Am’ad Qawasmeh was arrested on 13.10.04 and brought for interrogation to the  interrogation unit of the GSS [later known as ISA] at the Shikma Detention Center. He was not permitted to meet with a lawyer. At a hearing held on the first petition filed by Attorney Rosenthal on behalf of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel demanding that Mr. Qawasmeh be allowed to meet with counsel, the State Attorney’s office reported that “permits” were employed in the interrogation of Mr. Qawasmeh. These “permits” are, essentially, an official sanction of the use of means of torture as defined by article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment that was ratified in 1991 by the State of Israel. The State, in addition, refused to guarantee that it would refrain from using further torture in Mr. Qawasmeh’s interrogation. 

This petition is among the few filed against the use of torture in interrogation following the 1999 ruling of the High Court of Justice in case number 5100/94 the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel et al. v. The State of Israel et al

B’Tselem- The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, HaMoked- Center for the Defence of the Individual and Physicians for Human Rights determine that the permit allowing the employment of torture in the interrogation of Mr. Qawashmeh is a blatant violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and ill treatment anchored both in Israeli and international law, and in the 1999 High Court of Justice ruling. Moreover, the use of torture sanctioned by a permit given by senior security forces personnel points to moral deterioration and the crossing of a line that human societies are committed to in times of peace and in during emergencies. 

A day after the submission of the petition, the State Attorney's Office informed Attorney Rosenthal that according to the GSS, "in light of the circumstances known today, there is no intention to use physical measures in the further of the interrogation of … the petitioner".

As aforementioned, in light of the announcement, a joint request for dismissing the petition was filed

To download the petition (HCJ 9390/04 - Qawasme et al. v. General Security Service), click here 

To download the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, click here 

For Israeli case law, petitions and other documents regarding the subject, click here

mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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