November 5, 2011.
Two Israeli human rights organizations, the Public Committee Against Torture (PCAT) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) have released a report, Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim, in which they claim that medical professionals in Israel fail to document and report injuries caused by the ill-treatment and torture of detainees by security personnel. The report states that the doctors’ behavior is a violation of their ethical code.
The report, based on 100 cases of Palestinian prisoners brought to PCAT since 2007, “reveals significant evidence arousing the suspicion that many doctors ignore the complaints of their patients; that they allow Israeli Security Agency interrogators to use torture; approve the use of forbidden interrogation methods and the ill-treatment of helpless detainees; and conceal information, thereby allowing total immunity for the torturers.”
Although the Israeli government denies torturing or ill-treating prisoners, included in the report are evidence of beatings, being held for long periods in stress positions, sleep deprivation and threats. In addition, doctors are accused of not keeping proper medical records of injuries caused during interrogations. In this regard, the report notes “countless cases wherein individuals testified to injuries inflicted upon them during detention or in interrogation, and yet the medical record from the hospital or the prison service makes no mention at all.”
The report deals with medical professionals who have witnessed, participated in or been in contact with prisoners who have been interrogated by the Shin Bet internal security service, which has often been accused of inflicting physical or psychological violence on Palestinian prisoners. Either through direct action or through their silence, medical professionals were complicit with what goes on in the interrogation places, says the report. It also says that medical staff in prisons “approves the use of forbidden interrogation methods and the ill-treatment of helpless detainees; and conceals information thereby allowing total impunity for the torturers.”
Read the rest here.
Comment: Why am I not surprised? This kind of immoral and unethical behavior was commonplace in apartheid South Africa.
So why not apartheid Israel?