1 January, 14:36

Kids in cages: Israel accused of torturing Palestinian children

An NGO has accused Israel of locking up children in cages during the worst of the recent snow storm. Kids that police suspected of minor crimes were regularly placed in cages as a form of public humiliation and threatened with sexual violence, among other acts designed to terrify them.

The torture was halted only after Justice Minister Tzipi Livni interfered following the discovery and a candid phone talk with Israel’s Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, which is an Israel-based human rights group, said caging was a standard procedure at Ramle prison, with children enduring freezing temperatures and inclement weather outside a transit facility. They spent night hours outside after arrest until they were brought to court in the early morning.

The NGO cited the Istanbul Protocol Manual that discusses various authorities illegally using torture to extract information from minors. It did also say it was actively campaigning to redefine “torture” at a lower threshold of abuse when it comes to children.

It argued that international law does little to define torture in a binding manner so groups advocating against torture often demand that ill treatment should also be defined as torture. It said: “Torture can impact a child directly or indirectly. The impact can be due to the child’s having been tortured or detained, the torture of parents or close family members or witnessing torture and violence.”

On Tuesday, the Knesset’s Public Petitions Committee said at a hearing that the manner of arrest and detention conditions of Palestinian children was violating Israeli law for dealing with children.

Voice of Russia, Jerusalem Post, RT

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