[Ramallah, 7 June 2010] – On 7 June 2010, DCI-Palestine submitted 50 new cases of ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by the Israeli authorities to the UN Committee Against Torture, a committee of 10 independent experts whose role is to review state compliance with the Convention Against Torture.
The Committee last reviewed Israel’s compliance with the Convention in May 2009, and issued its conclusions and recommendations later that month. One of the recommendations made by the Committee was that Israel report back in twelve months regarding certain areas of concern. Twelve months on, DCI-Palestine has submitted a Supplementary Report annexing 50 affidavits to assist the Committee in this continuing review process.
In the twelve months since the Committee reviewed Israel’s compliance with the Convention, DCI-Palestine has collected sworn affidavits in 86 new cases of ill-treatment and torture, 50 of which have been forwarded on to the UN in support of the Report. The cases involve the use of physical violence and threats, including some of a sexual nature, to coerce confessions from children as young as 10 years. Included in the Report are the results of a review of 100 sworn affidavits collected by DCI-Palestine throughout 2009. The results of this review are presented in the table below:
Table 1 - Torture and ill-treatment – Sample of 100 cases from 2009
| Hand ties
| Confession during interrogation
| Beaten or kicked
| Arrested between midnight and 4am
| Verbal abuse
| Threats or inducements
| Signed confession in Hebrew
| Position abuse
| Solitary confinement
| Threat of sexual assault
| Sexual assault
Each year around 700 Palestinian children are arrested, interrogated and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Many of these children report being ill-treated, and in some cases, tortured. DCI-Palestine recommends that no child should be prosecuted in military courts which lack comprehensive fair trail and juvenile justice standards. As a minimum safeguard in the light of consistent reports of mistreatment and torture, Israeli authorities should:
- Ensure that no child is interrogated in the absence of a lawyer of their choice and family member.
- Ensure that all interrogations of children are video recorded.
- Ensure that all evidence suspected of being obtained through ill-treatment or torture be rejected by the military courts.
- Ensure that all credible allegations of ill-treatment and torture be thoroughly and impartially investigated and those found responsible for such abuse be brought to justice.
- Desist from the practice of detaining Palestinian children inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.