Friday, 19 November 2010

Report: 278 Children Exposed to Torture, Beating, Sleep Deprivation in “Israeli” Occupation Prisons

"Every time we try to sleep, they wake us up by beating us with the butts of their rifles. For three days. They locked us in the toilet without allowing in any food or water until we had to drink flush toilet water. They would put off their cigarette heels into our legs and yell at us continuously." This is the statement of the child captive "Mohammed Tarik Mokheimer", whose hometown is Beit Oure, close to Ramallah. He was arrested this year in July.

A sixth grader, the child Mokheimer was arrested with his classmate "Mohammed Ridwan" on charge of stoning a military patrol. They were then transported to an investigation centre in "Benjamin Settlement", where they were locked in a toilet for three days. They were kept nude and were offered no food or drink.

The mother says, "On the day of his arrest, Mohammed was late for home, so the whole family went searching for him, but we didn't find him. At 1:30 a.m., his classmate's father informed us that his son (Mokheimer's classmate) "Mohammed Ramadan" had been arrested."

The mother was perplexed in the first place; "Mohammed hasn't become 13 yet, and he has no knowledge of what a detention is and how it is, so how can they arrest children?" She added, "Nevertheless, parents and neighbors have assured me that his detention won't last and that he'll be back soon."

Continuous Torture:

The Next day, the family informed the Detainee Club of the detention of their child in a trial to hear any news of him or his classmate. The family commenced reflecting all possible cases and questioning the circumstances of their child detention until the Detainee Club informed them of the date of his trial hearing.

His mother proceeds, "I had never thought I was going to see my son like that, standing behind the bars with his hands chained, afraid, and looking on his sides every minute as if someone was after him. I tried to talk to him, but I was forbidden. He would look at me and cry all the time, and after having issued a series of charges, the court prolonged his detention."

The mother, who didn't know what exactly happened to her child, sensed that something unusual had happened. She was anxious and uneasy all the time, and she was looking for an answer to what happened to him. What she sensed had turned out to be true, for Mohammmed and his classmate were exposed to the most terrible kinds of torture; that was discovered later on through a report issued by the Ministry of the Detainees and Affairs of the Liberated.

Nude in Toilet:

Hiba Mosalha, the advocate of the Ministry of Detainees, has visited both detainees. She says, "Firstly I thought that Mohammed was exaggerating, but I spotted traces of torture on their bodies. The soldiers would put off their cigarette heels into their (children) legs, their toenails were gone because of harsh beating;" she said adding "While they were talking, they seemed scared that what occurred to them at the beginning of their arrest might be repeated."

In the statement the advocate reported, child Mohammed says, "We were arrested on Road 443 by the Separation Wall close to the village, and our whole bodies were severely beaten up with rifles and kicked until we fell down.

Afterwards the soldiers chained us, blindfolded us, and transported us to "Benjamin Settlement", which is close to the village."

There, the children were locked in the toilet and were forced to take off all of their clothes. For two days they were kept nude in the toilet without any food or drink, where the soldiers turned on the cold air conditioner all the time.

Child Mokheimer points out that the soldiers offered them no food or drink at all; thus, they suffered intense thirst and had to drink toilet water. They suffered intense cold because of being nude for two days with no cover or mattress, and every time they tried to sleep, the soldiers would wake them up immediately.

Mokheimer also pointed out that the most terrible thing that happened to them was when the soldiers entered the toilet, urinated on their heads and faces instead of using the toilet, and once done; they laughed and mocked at the two child detainees. Besides, one of the soldiers was photographing the incident.

Advocate Mosalha added, "After all this torture, the children were transported to an investigation centre, where they "forced" to confess doing things they hadn't really done upon fear of being tortured again." She proceeded that the incident of Mohammed Mokheimer and Mohammed Ridwan "isn't the only one even though it is the most horrible."

Through her meeting with the children, she heard a number speak about deprivation of sleep and eating for hours and days, in addition to being forced to sign certificates written in Hebrew and with contents the children didn't know. They were also beaten up harshly by the soldiers and weren't allowed to meet their private lawyer.

Systematic Policy:

With respect to Mosalha, torture of children detainees has become a systematic policy for the (Israeli) occupation soldiers in order to make children confess charges they have not committed, and so the soldiers would imprison them as long as possible.

With regard to official statistics, the occupation authorities hold more than 6700 Palestinian prisoners, among who are 287 children under the age of eighteen. According to the International Movement for Defense of Children, approximately 700 Palestinian children are imprisoned in the (Israeli) occupation prisons yearly.

In statements of a hundred child captive, the movement observed that 81% were beaten and kicked and that 26% were exposed to phantasmagoria; whereas 12% were threatened with sexual assault, and 4% of those were indeed sexually assaulted.

Families demand that prisoners are relocated to closer to home

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

No comments: