Palestinian detainees are systematically denied the right to meet a lawyer during interrogations by Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service, according to a report published today by an Israeli and a Palestinian rights group.
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club say detainees from the occupied West Bank are cut off from the rest of the world in Israeli detention facilities. The report also cited cases of “systematic violence” and torture.
Between 70% and 90% of the detainees in the years 2005 to 2007 were not allowed to meet a lawyer able to provide advice and assistance prior to signing a confession, say the organisations. The average time prisoners represented by the group were isolated from the outside world was 16.7 days. Irit Ballas, a lawyer and one of the report’s authors, said the situation has remained the same for the past three years. “The information we receive from our lawyers tells us that the incommunicado detention has not decreased,” he said.
A new survey has revealed that a full 44% of Israeli Jews support a letter issued by leading Israeli rabbis published earlier this month forbidding the sale or rental of properties to non-Jews. The survey reported that 48% of Israeli Jews oppose the rabbis’ religious edict.
As if the Rabbis’ edict against renting homes to Arabs wasn’t enough, a new letter, made public yesterday, has some 30 well-known wives of Orthodox Rabbis warning Jewish girls against dating Arabs or even working with them.