'They left scorched earth'
Freed Duma suspect's family: ISA was caught lying

ISA 'harmed our children' claiming they were 'ticking bombs,' says family, but in court all they had were 2-year-old unrelated suspicions.

Ari Yashar,

Duma protesters stage alleged ISA torture
Duma protesters stage alleged ISA torture
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

The family of the Jewish suspect in the lethal Duma arson who was released to house arrest on Tuesday responded to the court decision shortly afterwards, and slammed the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) for its alleged torture of their son and other suspects.

The suspect had been held for 29 days in administrative arrest, the first 20 days of which he was denied legal representation. On Monday charges were finally filed against him - but for a totally unrelated case, pertaining to an alleged fight he had with Bedouin shepherds two years ago. 

Attorneys accuse the ISA of randomly leveling the unconnected charges in order to extend his detention out of spite, amid a lack of any connection to the Duma attack. They also report that the suspect testified he was subjected to torture, including "violent shaking, hitting, banging his head against a wall, stretching his head back until he vomited, and sleep deprivation for entire days."

"After a month that our son was in the basements of the Shabak (ISA) under harsh torture on suspicions in the Duma murder, we are happy that the District Court rejected the ridiculous attempt by the Shabak to keep him under arrest on suspicion of involvement in a quarrel two years ago," said the released man's family.

"From the first moment we argued his innocence, but the Jewish Department of the Shabak that was under media and political pressure didn't act with cold consideration, but rather went wild recklessly and arrested anyone who fell in its hands, utilizing cruel interrogation techniques against them."

In its statement the family accused the ISA of improper conduct, saying, "in it's path to crack the Duma murder the Shabak left behind scorched earth and physically and emotionally harmed our children."

"The entire argument in the court throughout stages of the arrest was that they're dealing with a ticking bomb as it were, and it was a lie from the beginning and they led the court, the politicians and the public astray, and we are happy that the court put an end to it, and hope that the politicians who rushed to condemn will apologize."

"We call to establish a parliamentary investigation committee to examine the video tapes from the interrogation so that the truth behind the claims of torture will reach the light," concluded the family.

One minor suspect did break down and confess last week after nearly a month of interrogation, but the reported abuse raises concerns that the confession may have been false and inadmissible as evidence. Prior to the confession, officials admitted there was no evidence against the suspects.

The ISA issued a statement last Thursday claiming it has not abused the suspects, but the suspects have described brutal abuse, including sleep deprivation, sexual harassment, and extreme physical abuse. One minor suspect told the court last week he tried to commit suicide because he could not suffer the treatment any longer, and was ready to confess to anything just to get the interrogation to stop. His arms were found to be covered in numerous scars providing further backing to his statements.

Honenu on Sunday filed a complaint on the reported torture and abuse being suffered by the suspects.