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Groups: Israel Ignores Court, Abuses Prisoners

Posted May 7, 2007 1:46 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Despite a 1999 Israel Supreme Court ruling that bans the use of physical force during interrogations, the domestic security service there continues to mistreat and sometimes even torture prisoners, human rights groups say.

In a report released Sunday, two groups contend that Palestinian detainees interrogated by Shin Bet are routinely put in solitary confinement in stinking cells, shackled in painful positions and threatened with torture, reports the Chicago Tribune. The report says techniques defined as torture under international law are used for detainees suspected of having knowledge of imminent attacks, such as actual beatings, sleep deprivation and other painful techniques.

Although more than 500 complaints have been filed with the state's attorney's office in Israel, since 2001, it has not ordered a single criminal investigation, the report says. The Israel Justice Ministry said the report is inaccurate and "distorts reality" by basing its findings on interviews with an unrepresentative sample of prisoners.

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