The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network and Palestinian Human Rights Council hold the occupying state of Israel in full responsibility for torturing and critically injuring of detained Samer al Arbeed who was injured during both detention and interrogation.
On Wednesday, 25 September 2019, Israeli occupation forces detained Samer al Arbeed. 44 years old, in front his workplace in Ramallah. His wife alongside other eyewitnesses witnessed Samer being brutally beaten. He was then taken to al-Mascobiyya interrogation center in Jerusalem tortured again and brutally injured during interrogation and issued an order that bans him from meeting his lawyer.
The following day Samer al-Arbeed had a court session without his lawyer, he is in a very critical health situation due to torture and ill treatment during his arrest and interrogations. According to his lawyer, he was unconscious, has several broken ribs, bruises all over his body in addition to suffering severe kidney failure.
According to reports by Palestinian Human Rights Organizations 470 Palestinians were detained by the Israeli occupying forces during the month of August, 2019. While Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association reports that in the month of September the number of detained Palestinians increased reaching over 500 detained by the Israeli occupying forces.
The prohibition against torture in international conventions and agreements was unequivocal in its interpretation. The Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as Protocol I and II of 1977, include a number of articles that strictly prohibit cruel treatment and outrages upon human dignity. In addition, torture is prohibited under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which was adopted in 1948 and entered into force in 1978. The Convention against Torture states that no “exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war” may be invoked as a justification of torture, thus establishing an internationally-recognized peremptory norm against torture even in compelling circumstances relating to counter terrorism. Furthermore, according to the Rome Statute, Articles 8, 7, torture amounts to a war crime and when systematic and wide-spread to a crime against humanity. Also, Article 55 of the Rome Statues prohibits in specific torture and ill-treatment of prisoners during investigation.
It is important to note that torture in Israeli prisons is a common and systematic method reflecting Israeli occupying illegal policies, reaching crimes against humanity. Reports indicate that 221 Palestinian detainees had died in Israeli prisons since 1967, including 73 died as a result of torture.
Palestinian NGO Network and the Palestinian Human Rights Council called upon the international community to:
- Call upon member states, the International Committee of the Red Cross and UN specialized committees to take serious measures to pressure the occupying state of Israel to release Samer al Arbeed and insure he gets full health treatment and stop the ongoing crime of torture against him.
- Call upon the International Committee of the Red Cross to open an immediate investigation, and to assign a medical committee to investigate the torturing of Samer al Arbeed.
- Call upon the UN Secretary General and the rest of the United Nations committees and agencies to take all the required and available procedures and steps to end the Israeli practice of torture and ill-treatment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Additionally, to act immediately in actual attempts to hold the Israeli occupation authorities accountable for their crimes.
- Call upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to hold perpetrators of torture accountable as described in Article 146 and 147.