Thursday, December 4, 2008

Palestinians speak of widespread torture in PA jails

From Khalid Amayreh in Occupied East Jerusalem
4 December, 2008

"Despite denials by officials of the Ramallah-based Palestinian government , detainees recently released from Palestinian Authority (PA) jails and interrogation centers in the West Bank have spoken of widespread torture, excessive abuse, and harsh treatment” at the hands of security interrogators.

According to testimonies gathered directly from a number of former detainees in the Hebron region, the most common forms of torture include severe beating, usually using electric cables and water hoses and the notorious “Shabah technique.”

In Shabah , described by victims as “the first order of business,” a detainee is usually left between interrogation sessions in a small chair with his arms tied to his back in a position that causes severe muscle pain in the arms and the neck. [COMMENT: taught by the CIA and the IOF]

A prolonged Shabah may well cause paralysis in either or both hands, as is the case with Ra’ed Sharabati, from Hebron, who has suffered nearly full paralysis in his right shoulder and hand. Sharabati described torture in PA jails as “the modus operandi, the norm rather than the exception.”.....

The following are excerpts from Salhab’s testimony.....

Salhab said he was constantly hearing the screams of inmates who were being beaten and tortured. He named several people from the Hebron area, including Amjad Hammouri, a former candidate for the Palestinian legislative council......

According to human rights sources in the West Bank, torture in PA jails and interrogation centers is widespread and unmitigated.

The reason we don’t hear much about it is because victims are reluctant to speak up as they were warned that if they spoke up about what happened to them, they would be arrested anew and tortured further,” said one human rights activist who himself asked that his identity remain anonymous.

Who would intercede on my behalf if they took me, do you think Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch give a damn about us,” said the activist..... "

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