Press Release

Released in conjunction with
Al Nadim Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence
PO Box 347, Imbaba-Kit Kat, 12411- Egypt
Tel. & Fax: 202 33 76 186

November 28, 1996

Israeli Supreme Court declares torturing Palestinians a legitimate right

Last week, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the Israeli security forces to use physical torture to obtain information from Palestinian detainees Muhammad Hamdan and Kheidr Mubarak.

Collective torture, extra-judicial killing, and economic embargoes are the basic elements of Israeli policies concerning Palestinian men, women and children, but what is really shocking is that now the Israeli occupation force is carrying out its human rights violations under the protection of rulings issued by its highest court.

Given the already tyrannical nature of the Israeli regime, as witnessed on several occasions, such as last April with the bombing of the UN safe haven in Qana, southern Lebanon, the ruling represents yet more threat to Palestinians now that it makes torture legal. The ruling also confirms the racist nature of the Israeli State—the same court has previously issued a ruling preventing the use of torture on Israeli citizens.

The incidents taking place in the occupied territories are putting pressure on human rights organizations, particularly the international ones, to expose and condemn the practices of the Israeli authorities.

The undersigned organizations seriously and unequivocally condemn the Israeli violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and announce their solidarity with all those who are striving to reverse the ruling and force the Israeli authorities to adhere to their responsibilities under international humanitarian law and the human rights conventions.

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