Panel: Israel Uses Torture

  • Share
  • Read Later
GENEVA: The U.N. Committee Against Torture ruled that many of Israel's interrogation methods constitute torture and should be halted immediately. The committee denounced Israel's use of death threats, sleep deprivation and violent shaking of prisoners, and said they violate a 1987 U.N. convention forbidding abusive interrogation methods. Israel has argued that its tactics amount to "moderate physical and psychological pressure," not torture, and are often used to extract information from suspects who may know about terrorist attacks. "We cannot but express disappointment at the conclusions of the committee," said Israel's representative, Yosef Lamdan. "It is absolutely not the case that Israel uses torture." Despite Israel's claim its prisoners are not tortured, more than 20 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons since the signing of the U.N. convention in 1987. It's unlikely that Israel will change interrogation practices any time soon. The panel has almost no enforcement powers, and the government says it has prevented almost 90 terrorist attacks using such methods.