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Tuesday Nov. 2, 2010 12:34 PM (EST+7)
Rights groups: Palestinian detainees face abuse

Read more: detainees, prisoners, torture, mistreatment

RAMALLAH, November 1 (JMCC) - Palestinian detainees are kept in small dirty cells, interrogated in uncomfortable positions and sometimes hit by their Israeli interrogators, found two human rights groups in a report issued Tuesday.

The Israeli Justice Ministry denied the charges, saying its procedures respect the law while seeking to prevent militant attacks on Israelis.

The report is based on the testimonies of 121 Palestinians held in a detention center in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva in 2009. Its authors, the Israeli groups B'Tselem and Hamoked, said conditions at the facility constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and in some instances, torture.

The detainees were arrested in the West Bank on security-related allegations and held in the facility for one week to two months, the report said. They said they were being kept in small cells, some with filthy squat toilets and dirty bedding. Some said hot or cold air was pumped into their cells. Many reported trouble sleeping.

The report said interrogators bound detainees to chairs for long periods of time during questioning with brief breaks so they could eat or go to the bathroom. About one-third said interrogators insulted, threatened or tried pressure them through threats to family members. Nine percent said interrogators hit, shoved or jerked their bodies violently.

The report also noted that Palestinians have filed 645 complaints to the Justice Ministry about interrogation techniques since 2001. None has led to criminal investigations.

Read the story at AP...







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