UN expert: Israel must open access to Palestinian prisoners

Эксперт ООН: Израиль должен открыть доступ к заключенным палестинцам

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Alice Jill Edwards. UN expert: Israel must open access to Palestinian prisoners Human Rights

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Alice Jill Edwards on Thursday called on the Israeli government to investigate numerous allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against Palestinian detainees.

“Persons deprived of their liberty must always be treated humanely,” she said. “They must be provided with all the protections provided for by international human rights and humanitarian law, regardless of the circumstances of their detention.”

UN News questioned Edwards about her statement.

UN News: What kind of torture and ill-treatment Detainees are causing you concern?

Alice Edwards :I would like to make it clear that whenever we talk about torture, we should say “torture and ill-treatment” or “torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The vast majority of reports I have received involve ill-treatment, which in aggregate may amount to torture. 

May There may be individual cases of torture, but I am trying to classify them all into the category of prohibited actions, because these cases are not entirely clear-cut. This is part of the problem of lack of transparency and access to detention facilities, and I ask Israel to improve the situation.

I have no information on the number injured. I know that the number of detainees is in the thousands. And this is one of my requests to the representatives of Israel, so that they clarify for me the information about the number of people, the number of Palestinians in custody.

UN News Service: Could you clarify what exactly these cases are? How many of these cases were registered and in what ways?

Alice Edwards: I am not at liberty to disclose my sources. I have received a number of materials from a number of entities, both Israeli and Palestinian, and have also conducted my own research to substantiate and verify this information as best as possible from other sources, including United Nations sources.

For Palestinians from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, allegations of ill-treatment include allegations of beatings of prisoners, humiliating and degrading treatment such as spitting, blindfolding, stripping and prolonged detention without clothing.

As for Palestinians from Gaza, they are treated similarly, but there are also reports of injuries due to the friction of handcuffs, as well as some cases of injuries, caused by beatings with various objects.

And I also note the conditions of their detention, the crowding. This has been happening since October 7 due to the large number of Palestinians being detained under what the government has called a “custodial emergency.” This leads to extreme overcrowding in institutions, extreme overcrowding, resulting in hygiene problems. Also, an excessive number of prisoners in cells leads to the inability to enjoy rights in places of detention, such as time for outdoor exercise and the like.

UN News Service: What would you like to say to the Israeli authorities?

Alice Edwards: I want to say four things. I ask them to investigate these reports. And these investigations must be prompt, impartial and transparent.

I ask, as I already mentioned, for clear information about those who in custody, their number and location, as well as some demographic information such as age. I know that some children are being detained. So, I want detailed information. 

The third thing I ask for is access for international observers to they could monitor conditions of detention. And fourthly, I repeat my request for a visit to Israel and the OPT to be able to check the situation, as well as make recommendations for its improvement.

Read also:

UN expert concerned about suppression of pro-Palestinian protests in US universities

UN Special Rapporteurs are not UN employees and do not receive salaries from the organization for their work. They are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as independent experts.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *