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Rights group: Harsh treatment of child detainee

Ma’an – 02/02/2011

RAMALLAH — Israeli forces psychologically tortured a 14-year-old Palestinian detained in a night raid on his Ramallah village, a local rights group said.

Islam Tamami was detained on 23 January from his home in Nabi Saleh, a village which holds weekly anti-wall rallies to protest Israel’s confiscation of residents’ land.

He was taken to a police station and interrogated without his parents or a lawyer present, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said.

Soldiers used psychological torture to extract false testimony about demonstrations in his village during an eight hour interrogation, PSCC reported.

Tamimi’s lawyers requested access to the boy immediately after his request, but this was not granted until after five hours of interrogation, the committee said.

The boy is still in Israeli detention, despite appeals from his defense for his immediate release due to the unlawful conduct of the police and military.

A military judge on Tuesday refused a request to transfer him to house arrest, committee spokesman Joseph Dana said.

The committee says residents of the village, including children, have been subject to countless injuries, arrests and collective punishment. It says the army’s campaign is an attempt to crush the village’s non-violent protests against the wall.

DCI: Army detained 7,000 Palestinian children detained since 2000

On Saturday, Defence for Children International said Israel’s military had detained around 7,000 Palestinian children since 2000.

In its annual report, submitted to the United Nations, DCI said it was rare for children, or their parents, to be told the reason for the arrest or where the children would be taken.

The arrests were frequently carried out by heavily armed soldiers in the middle of the night, the report said, and children were usually handcuffed and blindfolded before being taken away in a military vehicle.

“The arrest and transfer process is frequently accompanied by physical and verbal abuse,” DCI reported.

“Children are frequently threatened and physically assaulted during interrogation often resulting in the provision of a coerced confession, or the signing of documents which the child has not had a chance to read or understand.”

DCI noted that children as young as 12 were tried in military courts, and said most children ultimately plead guilty “whether the offence was committed or not, as this is the quickest way out of the system.”

Further, Israeli military courts impose sentences on most children detained.

“In 2009, custodial sentences were imposed on children by the military courts in 83 percent of cases, in contrast to a custodial sentence rate of 6.5 percent in the Israeli civilian juvenile justice system,” DCI found.

February 2, 2011 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular

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