RAMALLAH, August 27, 2015 (WAFA) – Ali Etani, a 17-year-old detainee from Jenin, north of the West Bank Thursday briefed his lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) on the ill-treatment and abuse he is subjected to during interrogation in Israeli prisons.
Etani told his lawyer that Israeli interrogators harass minor detainees and employ various physiological and physical torture techniques; some of these methods include tying the minor’s hands and feet and humiliating him by interrogators who place their legs on the detainees shoulders while handcuffed.
The 17-year-old Etani added he has breathing difficulties and sinuses as well as chronic headache, yet receives no medical care from the prison service.
The Israeli prison guards carry out regular and surprising night raids in minors’ sections, the last of which was a raid targeting one of the cells; the guards locked down the detainees in the lavatories while tampered with their personal belongings.
According to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, at the end of May 2015, 163 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli prisons as security detainees and prisoners.
Most of the minors in detention are subjected to verbal and physical abuse, which is an outright violation of international law. Defense for Palestinian Children reported, “The majority of children are detained from their West Bank homes during the middle of the night by heavily armed Israeli soldiers.”
It added, “Several hours after their arrest, children arrive at an interrogation and detention center alone, sleep deprived and often bruised and scared. Interrogations tend to be coercive, including a variety of verbal abuse, threats and physical violence that ultimately result in a confession.”
The international law stipulates that minors are not to be handcuffed or terrorized during interrogation. Upon detention, the authority detaining the minor should immediately inform the family and allow his parents to be present during interrogation.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel said parents have the right to accompany the child to the interrogation at the police station, even if the station is located within a settlement. If not allowed to enter a settlement, an attorney should accompany the minor immediately.
According to statistics, 90 minors, who are under the age of 18, are currently detained in the Ofer Military camp near Ramallah, while another 110 are detained in Hasharon and Majedo military camps.