Interrogation, torture and ill-treatment

Palestinian detainees can be interrogated indefinitely and they can be denied access to legal representation for 60 days after arrest. During interrogation, detainees are often subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, physical and/or psychological torture. Confessions extracted through such practices are allowed as evidence in military court, as are confessions written in Hebrew and signed by detainees who do not speak or read the language.

Forms of torture and ill treatment used against detainees include: beatings, tying prisoners in “stress positions”, interrogation sessions lasting up to 20 consecutive hours, sleep and other sensory deprivation, isolation and solitary confinement, and threats against the lives of relatives. In the past detainees have died in custody as a result of torture.

These practices are in direct contravention of international law. While the Israeli High Court of Justice banned the use of torture during interrogation in 1999, the decision allowed an exemption for “moderate physical pressure”, which is widely considered torture.

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