UN Committee against Torture releases list of issues for Israel
In June, the UN Committee Against Torture (the Committee) released a list of issues it would like the Government of Israel to address when the Committee reviews Israel’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 2013. Specific issues raised by the Committee relevant to the continued prosecution of Palestinian children in military courts include:
- What steps has the Government of Israel taken to audio-visually record interrogations conducted by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) as a further means to prevent torture and ill-treatment? DCI-Palestine further recommends that this inquiry should be broadened to include interrogations conducted by the Israeli police, being the body most likely to interrogate Palestinian children from the West Bank.
- What steps has the Government of Israel taken to ensure that all detainees are promptly brought before a judge and have prompt access to a lawyer? Under military law, Palestinian children are not required to be brought before a judge for 8 days, and can be denied access to a lawyer for up to 90 days. By way of contrast, Israeli children, including those living in the settlements, must be brought before a judge within 24 hours and can be denied access to a lawyer for 48 hours.
- Please indicate how many Palestinian prisoners from the Occupied Palestinian Territory are held in detention facilities inside Israel? Transferring and detaining Palestinian prisoners out of occupied territory violates article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and attracts personal criminal liability under articles 146 and 147 of the same convention.
- Please indicate the measures taken to ensure that the detention or imprisonment of a child is used as a measure of last resort, that solitary confinement is never used as a means of coercion or punishment and that all children receive appropriate education.
- Please also explain the regime applied to children under military detention, in particular if their interrogations are recorded and if their parents or other legal representatives can have access to them. DCI-Palestine recommends that all interrogations of children must be audio-visually recorded and parents must be entitled to accompany their children at all times, as is the right generally afforded to Israeli children. Further, children must be entitled to consult with a lawyer of their choice prior to their interrogation.
The full list of issues released by the Committee is available here.
- UK Foreign Office agrees that imprisoning Palestinian children inside Israel violates international law – but what are they going to do? (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israeli interrogators sexually harass Palestinian children in detention (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- World Psychiatric Association: Enabling Israeli Apartheid? (windowintopalestine.blogspot.com)
- A Seminar on Palestine’s Prisoners: A Lament on Injustice (alethonews.wordpress.com)
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