Massive PA torture exposed by Palestinians

Palestinian human rights commission reveals cases of torture in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with PA Security Forces taking part.

Contact Editor
Ari Yashar,

PA Security Force beats protester (file)
PA Security Force beats protester (file)
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) last month exposed that Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas detention centers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza regularly employ torture to force suspects to make potentially false confessions.

The revelation, the latest in an exposure of the PA's serious human rights abuses, was published by the independent Palestinian Ma'an News Agency, and translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on Monday.

ICHR General Director Dr. Ammar Dwaik described the illegal torture being conducted as consisting of "whippings, hanging a person from his hands while they are tied behind his back, verbal abuse, sleep deprivation and whipping the soles of feet."

His organization's report indicated that PA Security Forces were fully aware of the torture, although there were more complaints of torture in Hamas-run Gaza than in parts of Judea and Samaria under PA control.

"The Independent Commission for Human Rights received 292 complaints from citizens regarding torture, maltreatment, and physical assault in the West Bank, and 928 in the Gaza Strip this year (2015)...most of the types of torture and physical assaults take place during demonstrations, detention, and interrogations in detention centers in order to extract confessions," revealed the report.

PA Security Forces in Judea-Samaria spokesperson Adnan Al-Damiri said in response to the report that whoever conducts torture "is a criminal and should be prosecuted," even though his forces were shown to be complicit.

Back in 201,  PMW exposed an ICHR report stating that despite PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's "approval of the ban on torture and its illegalization," there were still "numerous cases of torture" in the PA.

ICHR was established in 1993 according to its website, and was founded "upon a Presidential Decree issued by President Yasser Arafat in his capacity as President of the State of Palestine and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The decree was subsequently published in the Official Gazette in 1995. ICHR commenced its activities in early 1994; the first Commissioner General was Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, who spearheaded ICHR's initial establishment."