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Israel: Fear of torture and ill-treatment / Legal concern

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 15/06/00

25 February 2000

UA 51/00 Fear of torture and ill-treatment / Legal concern

ISRAEL/SOUTH LEBANON Nimr Khaz'al, aged 48
Sawsan Khaz'al, his daughter, aged 27
Munif Abbas Khalil, aged 55, Lebanon Electricity Company employee


The three people named above were arrested on 17 February 2000. All are now
believed to be at Khiam Detention Centre (see below), where detainees are
systematically tortured and ill-treated, and many have been held for years
without charge or trial.

All three are from villages in the Israeli-occupied area of south Lebanon. Nimr
Khaz'al and his daughter, Sawsan, live in 'Aynata; Munif Abbas Khalil lives in
'Ayta al-Sha'b.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Khiam Detention Centre is the main South Lebanon Army (SLA) detention and
interrogation centre in Israeli-occupied south Lebanon. The SLA is Israel's
proxy militia, operating in the area under Israeli occupation. About 150 people
are believed to be held at Khiam, where prisoners have been held without charge
or trial for up to 14 years. Former detainees have described systematic torture
and ill-treatment, including beating, whipping, torture with electric shocks
and dousing with hot and cold water.

Israel asserts that it is not responsible for Khiam Detention Centre and
directs all inquiries about it to the SLA, but there are clear links between
Israeli forces in south Lebanon and the Khiam administration. In September
1999, the head of the Israeli army's Operations Division admitted to Israel's
High Court that members of Israel's internal security service, the General
Security Service (GSS), "cooperate with members of the SLA, and even assist
them by means of professional guidance and training... and hold meetings
several times annually with SLA interrogators at Khiam prison." According to
the officer, in the first seven months of 1999 the GSS visited the prison three
times. He also admitted that the Israeli army paid the Khiam interrogators'
salaries directly. He stated that the Israeli army intended to stop paying the
interrogators.

 

      

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Further information



MDE1500600.wpd

MDE1500600.pdf