Amnesty Stop Torture FEAR FOR SAFETY & TORTURE, Over 1000 Palestinians
2002-04-05 Israel


Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of more than one thousand
Palestinians detained by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), during the past week
in refugee camps and towns in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Some
Palestinians have been reportedly tortured by being beaten or held for
prolonged periods in painful positions. All detainees are reportedly being
held in conditions which amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. A
Military Order has just been issued denying access of detainees to lawyers.

Detainees are being held at a number of IDF military camps and settlements,
but the IDF will not reveal the names of those they have arrested and where
they are located. In violation of international human rights treaties, such
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the
Convention against Torture or Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment, to which Israel is a State party, detainees have been held in
conditions which constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment. Those arrested and released have also reported being threatened
and beaten by members of the IDF who detained them.  They have been
handcuffed for extended periods of time, and sometimes denied food, water
and permission to use the toilet.  Despite the cold nights, many detainees
and sleeping on cold slabs and most spent the first night without being
provided with a blanket.

Under international standards, any person who is arrested, detained or
imprisoned has the right to inform, or have the authorities notify, their
family or friends. The information must include the fact of their arrest or
detention and the place where they are being kept in custody. The families
of the detainees, have not received such information and do not know whether
their relatives are dead or alive, following unconfirmed reports that some
Palestinians taken by the IDF were extrajudicially executed.