London- based organisations expose torture in PA jails

[ 21/01/2011 – 08:57 PM ]


LONDON, (PIC)– MEMO and AOHR held a press conference Thursday morning to launch their new joint report “Documenting the crime of torture in the Palestinian Authority’s Territories”. Hosted by Forward Thinking (FT) and chaired by William Sieghart (FT Chairman) the report contains graphic images and testimony detailing the type of torture being used in Palestinian Authority jails including hanging, beating, stress positions, electrocution, solitary confinement and so on. Giving far greater detail than many previous reports by other human rights organisations, it cites names, locations, dates and statistics based on first hand witness testimony to substantiate its claims.

Dr Daud Abdullah, the Director of MEMO, and Mr Amjad Salfit, speaking on behalf of the AOHR, both highlighted the responsibility of the UK, EU and US governments for the horrific torture taking place in the PA jails. Most of the individuals who perpetrate the torture are on the PA payroll and the PA receives its funding largely from the UK, EU and US governments. The EU for instance has given the PA approximately 4.6 billion Euros since 2004. This means that essentially it is the taxpayers from those countries who are directly funding the torture of Palestinian prisoners, (who in many instances have been arrested simply for belonging to parties in opposition to the ruling Fatah party of Mahmood Abbas.)

The role of the UN was also highlighted, particularly the role of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) who are currently funding the building of 52 prisons (which means that there are now more prisons than schools being constructed in the West Bank). Dr Abduallah and Mr Salfit called for the governments and authorities who are funding the institutions of torture in the West Bank to withdraw their funding or at least to demand more accountability for how their funds are being spent.  They emphasised the fact that it is largely under the pretext of “state building” that funds are being given to the PA but in reality the money is being used to create a one party system whereby any political opponents to the PA are being targeted, detained, abused and in some instances killed.

Mr Salfit declared that the torture of Palestinian prisoners has now become the cultural norm and not the exception.  The role of Tony Blair as the Quartet’s “Peace Envoy” was also highlighted in that his role is partly to oversee security for the Palestinian people and yet he is knowingly allowing such a savage system of regular institutionalised torture to take place under his watch.

Source: MEMO

London- based organisations expose torture in PA jails.

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