UN Expert Demands Israel Investigate Allegations of Torture Against Palestinian Detainees

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Alice Jill Edwards, urges Israel to investigate claims of inhumane treatment of Palestinian detainees following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. Allegations include beatings, blindfolding, and deprivation of sleep. Israeli authorities have not yet responded. Edwards emphasizes the need for accountability and justice.

Reuters | Geneva | Updated: 23-05-2024 18:09 IST | Created: 23-05-2024 18:09 IST
UN Expert Demands Israel Investigate Allegations of Torture Against Palestinian Detainees
  • Country:
  • Switzerland

A United Nations expert called on Israel on Thursday to investigate multiple allegations of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, Alice Jill Edwards, said in a statement that she had received allegations of people being beaten, kept in cells blindfolded and handcuffed for long periods.

There was no immediate reaction from the Israeli government or military. The military has said it acts according to Israeli and international law and those it arrests get access to food, water, medication and proper clothing. The U.N. Special Rapporteur said she had received reports of some detainees being deprived of sleep, threatened with physical and sexual violence, insulted and exposed to humiliating acts, including "being photographed and filmed in degrading poses".

"I am particularly concerned that this emerging pattern of violations, coupled with an absence of accountability and transparency, is creating a permissive environment for further abusive and humiliating treatment of Palestinians," Edwards said. "The Israeli authorities must investigate all complaints and reports of torture or ill-treatment promptly, impartially, effectively and transparently. Those responsible at all levels, including commanders, must be held accountable, while victims have a right to reparation and compensation."

Israel's military operation in Gaza was triggered by the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants who killed 1,200 people and took 253 hostage, according to Israeli tallies. The subsequent Israeli offensive has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian medics, displaced most of Gaza's 2.3 million people and caused a grave humanitarian crisis.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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