The Lack of Investigation and Punishment of Torture in Israel

In the course of the past five years PCATI and a number of other human rights organizations In Israel have submitted over 600 complaints concerning the use of torture and ill treatment by Israel’s General Security Service (Henceforth: The Shin Bet). At no point have the authorities seen fit to initiate a criminal investigation into the chargers much less to prosecute the accused torturers.

This paper is based on the findings of research conducted by PCATI. The paper will first survey the background on the use of torture and Ill treatment in the Israeli context, discussing, inter alia, the “Torture Ruling”: a landmark ruling that was handed down by The Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) a decade ago. This will be followed by a short critique of the State’s ‘investigation’ process of torture victim complaints and the manner in which it disregards victim’s complaints ofalleged torture and ill treatment. The process results in a state of affairs in which Shin Bet agents are immune from prosecution and receive full support from the legal system for their use of illegal methods of investigation, including methods of torture.

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