On 14 March 2023, Addameer and Al-Haq jointly delivered an oral intervention under interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as part of their engagement with the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council. The intervention highlighted Israel’s use of torture and cruel treatment against Palestinian prisoners and detainees, as part of its settler-colonial and apartheid regime against the Palestinian people. Specifically, the statement underlined how Israeli state institutions attempt to conceal crimes of torture, as Israeli military courts extend detainment for further interrogation, disregarding the clear markings of torture on Palestinian detainees’ bodies. The statement also addressed Israel’s use of administrative detention, causing psychological distress and helplessness, with 967 administrative detainees, including five children, being currently held indefinitely without trial. The intervention further underlined the Israeli government’s introduction of draft bills on the death penalty and limitations on medical treatment, brutal prison raids, and only four minutes of shower time. Finally, the statement the Council and its Member States to take immediate action to hold Israel accountable for these human rights violations.
The full statement reads as follows:
In the absence of international accountability, Israel enjoys a culture of impunity that systematically subjects Palestinian prisoners and detainees to numerous forms of torture and cruel treatment as part of its settler-colonial and apartheid regime against the Palestinian people.
Although Israeli crimes of torture are well documented with evidence, various Israeli state institutions attempt to conceal these crimes. Israeli military courts often refrain from documenting the torture of detainees in court records and extend their detention for further interrogation, supported by Israeli medical staff who certify that detainees are medically fit to withstand interrogation while disregarding the clear markings of torture on their bodies.
The Israeli occupation systematically relies on administrative detention to arbitrarily hold Palestinians without charge or trial, indefinitely, based exclusively on secret information, preventing any fair trial. The number of administrative detainees has doubled currently standing at 967, including five children.
The psychological impact that repeated arrests and detention has on Palestinians cannot be understated, as it easily induces stress, depression, feelings of helplessness, and desperation.
From introducing draft bills on the death penalty and limitations on medical treatment, brutal prison raids, and only four minutes of shower time, Israel’s new government is implementing a particularly hostile, radical agenda against Palestinian prisoners and their families. These measures give way to further grave human rights violations if immediate action is not taken by the international community.