Sunday, February 1, 2009

Financed by the British taxpayer, brutal torturers of the West Bank

Mail Online

Not only are Palestinian Authority forces carrying out torture but are ignoring judges' orders to release political detainees.

"The horrific torture of hundreds of people by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank is being funded by British taxpayers. An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found that the forces responsible get £20million a year from the UK.

The victims – some left maimed – are rounded up for alleged involvement with the militant Islamic group Hamas, yet many have nothing to do with it......

Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) gave £76million in all to the PA last year for ‘security sector reform’ and fostering the rule of law.

About £3million goes directly to the PA police. Another £17million pays the salaries of the PA’s array of security organisations – including the Presidential Guard intelligence service and the feared Preventive Security Organisation.

Not only are PA forces carrying out torture, the authority ignores judges’ orders to release political detainees. Last month at least 30 journalists, teachers and students were arrested – as the crackdown on Hamas was praised by a senior Israeli defence official as a necessary ‘iron fist policy’.....

Amar al-Masri, 42, a wealthy landowner, told how he and his wife, Kholoud, 40, were detained – leaving no one to care for their five children. He endured repeated shabah, saying the reason was that Kholoud had won a seat on Nablus Council, representing a non-Hamas ‘citizen’s coalition’, also seen as a rival to Fatah. He said: ‘Our only crime has been to get involved in the democratic process. Britain is a democratic country. Why are you supporting these things?’....."

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