Duma arson trial
Duma arson trial Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Attorney Adi Keidar from the Honenu legal rights organization filed a complaint to the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet)'s complaints department Sunday, demanding an investigation into the torture of suspects in the Duma arson and murder case. 

The ISA department - the ISA Ombudsman for Interrogatees' Complaints - confirmed receiving the complaint, but has not yet announced whether to open an investigation on the matter.

Keidar did not express great hopes in the investigation, since the department is subject to prosecution body, but called to at least delay filing indictments in the case until the complaints have been processed. 

"We hope that the ISA complaint department officials, although they are subject to the prosecution, will carry out an independent investigation with respect to complaints," Keidar said. "We urge the State Attorney and the Attorney General to suspend the indictments until the matter is clarified, because if there is substance to the complaint and according to the Supreme Court ruling, the ISA are those who will stand trial, not the boys who were forced to confess under torture." 

Honenu noted that complaints had been filed against the ISA in the past, but no trials had ever been conducted over those allegations. 

"While in the past there were no complaints of torture but other violations of the law, such as hits, threats, sleep deprivation and interrogation on Shabbat, there unfortunately seems to be no body that really criticized the work of the Shin Bet," it added. 

Ongoing allegations

Outrage over the handling of the Duma case has snowballed after it was revealed the suspects had reportedly been refused basic religious rights such as lighting Hanukkah candles, been banned from seeing their lawyers or family, and that at least one has been denied medical treatment after being beaten during arrest

Damning audio evidence released last week during a court hearing included one suspect testifying he attempted suicide and begging for the ISA to kill him.

Honenu attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir also revealed that the ISA may have sexually abused the main suspect in the case during the course of the interrogation, amid a string of already-damning evidence mounting against the intelligence body. 

Civil rights groups have called for the ISA to be investigated over the torture, which - if proven - may run contrary to Israeli law. In one case, the ISA was found to have illegally detained one of the suspects, a minor, for longer than the 20 days mandated by law.