Friday, January 3, 2014

Israel Cages Palestinian Children in Outdoor Holding Pens During Freezing Storm

Annie Robbins
The Givon prison in Ramla (Photo by Nir Keidar)Once again Israel has been accused of torturing children. This time the state has been accused of caging Palestinian children in outdoor holding pens during the recent freezing winter storm. Lawyers from Israel’s Public Defender’s Office (PDO) visited a prison in Ramle during the storm and published a report on their website.

The IndependentIsrael government ‘tortures’ Palestinian children by keeping them in cages, human rights group says:
“public caging”, threats and acts of sexual violence and military trials without representation…..”
“During our visit, held during a fierce storm that hit the state, attorneys met detainees who described to them a shocking picture: in the middle of the night dozens of detainees were transferred to the external iron cages built outside the IPS transition facility in Ramla,” the PDO wrote on its website.
“It turns out that this procedure, under which prisoners waited outside in cages, lasted for several months, and was verified by other officials.”
This information came to light at a recent hearing of the Knesset’s Public Petitions Committee on December 31st. An Israeli NGO, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), claimed this torture is a longstanding issue in a report (pdf) reminding the committee “that torture and ill treatment are absolutely prohibited and that Israel’s legislature must anchor this prohibition in its domestic law. ”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heard about it and intervened; “immediately telephoned Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, telling him to end the practice.”

Shockingly, the Jerusalem Post reported members of the committee claimed they “lacked data…about the frequency and scope of those practices it objected to such as midnight arrests.”

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