IDF RESPONSE TO HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH – MIDDLE EAST REPORT

(Communicated by IDF Spokesman’s Office) Jerusalem, 14 June 1994

The IDF unequivocally denies the assertions made by ‘Human Rights Watch’ in their report claiming that IDF personnel use torture in order to obtain confessions from Palestinian detainees.

Any means of torture or violence against detainees is forbidden under Israeli law, and any confession extracted against the free will of the detainee is inadmissible as evidence. The rules of questioning which apply to military detention facilities were approved by the Judge Advocate General Corps, and the IDF strictly abides by these rules.

Furthermore, there exists a mechanism for the strict supervision of military detention facilities by an advisory committee to the Chief of the General Staff, headed by the President of the Military Appeals Court. These facilities are open to visits by, or are under the supervision of, representatives of the Attorney-General, the Military Police, lawyers representing the detainees, the Red Cross, and other human rights organizations.

In addition, every detainee may raise complaints against the behavior of IDF personnel carrying out questioning, and the manner in which the confession was obtained from him, when he is brought before a judge in order to extend his detention, or during his trial.

In cases where complaints have been raised about the methods used during IDF questioning procedures, the complaints were immediately investigated by the Military Police, and when evidence corroborating the complaints was found, the suspects were brought to trial. It should be emphasized that the number of complaints is minimal.