Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Human Rights Watch report reveals abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli police

By Marta Feirra - April 12, 2016
Section: [Main News] [Behind Bars]
Tags: [child arrests] [Human rights] [Violence against children] [Occupation]

A report published on Monday by Human Rights Watch reveals detained Palestinian children are being abused by Israeli police officers.

The report comes as the number of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces has more than doubled since October last year. According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there were around 400 Palestinian children being held in Israeli military prisons in February, with at least 100 of them being under the age of 16.

According to Human Rights Watch, Israeli forces are “using unnecessary force in arresting and detaining children,” and in some cases “beating them, and holding them in unsafe and abusive conditions.”

The investigation found that Israeli security forces routinely interrogate children without the presence of parents, violating international and Israeli laws that provide protection for detained children.

Human Rights Watch documented cases of physical abuse of children in custody and abusive interrogation practices, which is said to be “endemic” by criminal defence lawyers.

Children reported police officers “hit and kicked them”, and made them “spend hours outside in the cold in the early morning and at night, handcuffed in chairs in police compounds.”

A 15-year-old Palestinian boy told Human Rights Watch officers “kicked him between the legs and banged his head against the ground,” dragging him while being slapped and handcuffed.

A video of the boy’s arrest shows him being hit, even when he appears to be subdued, and being put briefly into a chokehold. He also reported abused at the police station.

The boy’s father said he was only allowed to enter the interrogation room when his son’s interrogation was underway. He said his son “had handcuffs on his hands and feet and wept as police interrogators screamed at him, accusing him of trying to stab security forces,” the report stated.

The boy was released without charge the next day, after the video of his arrest was published online.

According to children’s rights group Defense for Children International in Palestine (DCIP), three out of four Palestinian children experience physical violence during arrest or interrogation by Israeli forces.

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