World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Israel's Policy Of Closures And Demolitions

Committee Against Torture Says Israel's Policy Of Closures And Demolitions Of Palestinian Homes May Amount To Cruel, Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

23 November 2001

Amnesty International welcomed today the landmark conclusion by the Committee against Torture stating that Israel's policy of closures and its demolitions of Palestinian homes "may, in certain instances, amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" in breach of Article 16 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which Israel ratified in 1991.

"We now urge the Israeli authorities to immediately implement all of the recommendations of the Committee," the organization added, noting that the Committee recommended that the "State party should desist from the policies of closure and house demolition where they offend article 16 of the Convention".

Israel's policy of closures has meant that nearly every road to each town or village in the West Bank is closed by piles of earth, concrete blocks, trenches or army-manned barriers. Many roads in the Occupied Territories are prohibited to Palestinians. Journeys which used to take twenty minutes may now take two or three hours. Palestinian human rights organizations presented to the Committee details of 14 Palestinians who had died and others who had suffered life-threatening medical complications after access to hospital had been delayed.

Israel has pursued a policy of demolishing Palestinian homes for years. Houses have been destroyed because they have breached discriminatory planning laws; as punishment; or for "security" reasons. Over the past year, more than 500 Palestinian homes have been demolished making at least 4,000 people homeless, the great majority of them children.

"Homes are demolished usually with a few minutes or no warning at all, causing material loss and trauma to thousands of Palestinians. These policies are unacceptable and must end," Amnesty International said.

The Committee also raised concern at the use of incommunicado detention -- including of children -- and the continuing use of interrogation methods prohibited by an Israeli Supreme Court ruling of 1999. These methods included prolonged sleep deprivation while in painful positions; shaking and subjection to loud noises.

In addition, the Committee expressed concern that administrative detention "does not conform to article 16 of the Convention", which prohibits cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. Administrative detention is a procedure under which detainees may be held indefinitely without trial.

Among other things, the Committee recommended that Israel ensure that "interrogation methods prohibited by the Convention" are not utilized, that all detainees are brought promptly before a judge and that confessions extorted by torture and evidence from such confessions should be excluded. The Committee recommended that Israel institute effective complaint, investigative and prosecution mechanisms for those alleging torture.

While the Committee against Torture recognized the importance of the September 1999 Supreme Court decision which banned a number of interrogation methods, it also regretted that the ruling allowed some of those methods -- for instance sleep deprivation -- if they are incidental to the interrogation process and indicated that interrogators who used physical pressure might use the "defence of necessity". The Committee reiterated that "no exceptional circumstances may be invoked as a justification for torture" and recommended that "necessity as a possible justification to the crime of torture should be removed from the domestic law".

Background The Committee against Torture is a body of 10 independent experts appointed by the states parties to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The Committee, which meets twice a year, reviews reports by states which have ratified the Convention and makes recommendations on measures that should be taken to ensure implementation of the provisions of the Convention. The present session of the Committee, held in Geneva, also reviewed reports from Benin, Indonesia, Ukraine and Zambia.

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news