Presentation on theme: "There is growing evidence that torture is still practiced by Israel’s security system during interrogations of Palestinian detainees. This conduct contradicts."— Presentation transcript:
There is growing evidence that torture is still practiced by Israel’s security system during interrogations of Palestinian detainees. This conduct contradicts universal declarations, as well as the Israeli High Court of Justice ruling in September 1999 outlawing the use of torture. Torture in Israel
One Victim: the System Exposed “M” was arrested April 2008. His affidavit states : Interrogated for 20 days, most of the time seated on a chair fixed to the floor, hands tied behind his back. Beaten and shaken, while shackled to the chair. Threatened that his house would be demolished and mother would be arrested. Indeed she was. Following severe beatings, he fainted and sustained cuts to his head and face. He suffered severe pains in his jaw to the extent he was unable to eat.
In presence of ambulance paramedics and a doctor, interrogator instructs colleagues not to tell what happened, but to say “M” fell down the stairs. Hospital doctors treat him while still shackled. “M” receives stitches to head and face. Doctor is asked by interrogators not to order hospitalization. The doctor obeys. “M” was brought back to prison. Interrogators ordered “M” to wait inside the ambulance 3 hours to avoid having “M” examined by the prison doctor (the one who asks too many questions). “M” was finally released to another doctor, (the doctor who doesn’t ask questions). When M complains to the prison doctor he is told to shut up, sent shackled to confinement cell without medicine. Medication administered only following Red Cross visit.
Declarations Are Not Enough 100 countries and 40 organizations around the world still use torture Exposes the ineffectiveness of treaties & declarations prohibiting torture. Most (not all) physicians under various regimes, in different periods and countries, are the regime's collaborators rather than its critics.
Creating a Platform for the Struggle Against Torture This conference is an excellent platform for the creation of a principal and practical basis for the struggle against torture. Too many NMAs are satisfied with signing treaties & declarations but don’t actually implement them. It’s time to implement mechanisms which will halt the participation of doctors and health personnel in torture.
An Opportunity to Overcome IMA’s Severing of Ties with PHR-Israel IMA cut ties with PHR-Israel following our long struggle against torture in Israel. This forum can grant PHR-Israel and similar NGO’s a framework to overcome unwillingness of NMA’s to take on issues of torture. A network should be established to voice complaints and provide assistance to those who are willing to struggle against torture.
The WMA’s Role Together we must find: Appropriate strategies and tools to avoid doctors’ compliance in torture. Ability to actively object to torture by testifying against perpetrators. A process for the granting of independence and protection to physicians in their home countries.
The WMA’s Role Every NMA must wage a clear and effective campaign against torture in general and against the participation of Physicians in torture procedures, in particular. The NMA and human rights organizations should lobby together to pass a state law obliging Physicians and health personnel to report any suspicion of torture.
The WMA’s role The NMAs should require its members to report any case of torture or inhumane treatment, even if there is no state law requiring them to do so. The NMAs should commit to provide legal aid to every doctor who reports such acts. The NMAs should commit to financially support every doctor that might loose his/her job due to reporting such acts.
Accountability Accountability Even when societies decide to stop torture, or the torturing regime is changed, they usually demand no accountability. The combination of not enough defense and assistance to whistle blowers with lack of accountability enables the continuation of torture. We must aspire to end it by bringing both.
Intern. network against torture PHR-Israel believes that the WMA and the WHO are the powerful and influential bodies who should take upon themselves this role. We call on them to bind all national medical associations to act - both educationally and practically - against torture.