When Torture Is Legal
Details are emerging about the treatment of the young men arrested as suspects in the horrific Duma murder case.
According to the two suspects who have just been released, to the parents and to their lawyers, these suspects have been held for three weeks in isolation, prevented from seeing their lawyers, sexually abused, physically tortured (including being bound in a doubled-up posture), systematically deprived of sleep (itself a form of torture) and refused permission to practice religious requirements.
Reportedly, at least one of the men has attempted suicide by slitting his wrists and stated to the court that he's willing to sign any confession, to anything, if only they will let him out.
If true, this would not only be outrageous in itself, but would cast considerable doubt on any confessions extracted under these circumstances.
The response from Government Ministers, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, all procedures followed by the Shabak (Security Services) have been according to the law.
It is worthwhile noting that this Government recently passed new regulations into law to treat suspects of "Tag Mechir" (Jewish nationalistic) crimes as terrorists.
Which is to say, they can be incarcerated for up to six months without the prosecution being required to bring charges, be denied legal council, and be subject to severe interrogation techniques which would otherwise be illegal.
In these circumstances, both the stories of torture & abuse, and the politicians' claims that everything is legal, can be true. There's no contradiction.
And it brings shame on Israel's system of justice and upon the Ministers who support this.