Public Comment

Israeli Shin Bet guilty of Torture

Jagjit Singh
Friday February 26, 2016 - 04:51:00 PM

A new report by two Israeli human rights groups, B’Tselem and HaMoked, accuses the Israeli internal security agency, Shin Net of appalling treatment of Palestinian prisoners at the Shikma interrogation facility. Dozens of prisoners are exposed to extreme heat and cold, deprived of sleep, spat on, put in stress positions causing extreme pain and given sub-standard food. Many were denied shower facilities for days or weeks at a time. The report also highlighted the complicit nature of other security branches such as the Israeli prison system IPS), which turns a blind eye to these abhorrent practices. 

The report concludes that "The combination of conditions both in and outside the interrogation room constitutes abuse and inhuman, degrading treatment, at times even amounting to torture." By its actions Shin Bet has violated a Supreme Court injunction banning torture. The IPS purpose is to break a prisoner’s spirit and military judges invariably rubber stamp motions for remand in custody. 

This dovetails with a statement by the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, in which he accused Israel of the abominable treatment of Palestinians. He accuses Israel “having two standards for adherence to the rule of law in the West Bank—one for Jews and one for Palestinians. He added "Too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response by Israeli authorities. Too much vigilantism goes unchecked. And at times there seem to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law—one for Israelis and another for Palestinians."