Wed 10-July-2024

Torture, murder, and sexual assaults, journalist’s testimony of abuses in Israeli prisons

Friday 21-June-2024


Horrific facts revealed by the imprisoned journalist Mohamed Arab in the first testimony from inside Sde Teiman prison, exposing the sadistic crimes committed by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) against Gaza detainees, which varied between killing, rape, torture, persecution, humiliation, and limb amputation without anesthesia.

While testimonies have been coming for several months from released detainees about the horrors of their experience, this testimony from the death cells presents facts that expose the criminality of the IOF and the silence of the international community.

Lawyer Khaled Mahajneh was able to visit the journalist detainee Mohamed Saber Arab (42 years old), who was working as a correspondent for the Al-Araby channel before his arrest 100 days ago from Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza during the recent aggression last March.

“Where am I?”

According to a statement by the Prisoners’ Society and the Detainees’ Commission, the visit was conducted under strict restrictions and censorship by the IOF soldiers. The first question asked by the detainee Arab to the lawyer was “Where am I?”, as Mohamed did not know that he was being held in the Sde Teiman camp.

The lawyer Mahajneh conveyed the testimony of the detainee Arab, which adds to the series of horrific, terrifying and shocking testimonies provided by the released Gaza detainees regarding the humiliating detention conditions, including the martyrdom of detainees, torture operations, persecution and humiliation, and rape incidents they were subjected to.

According to the detainee Arab, “The camp administration keeps the detainees handcuffed 24 hours a day and blindfolded. For fifty days, Mohamed did not change his clothes, and just before the visit, he was only allowed to change his pants, while his jacket remained unchanged for fifty days.”

Torture leading to testimony

In his testimony, he explained, “The detainees are constantly subjected to torture, persecution, and assaults of all kinds, including sexual assaults and rapes, which have led to the martyrdom of a number of detainees.”

The beatings, persecution, humiliation, and insults never stop, according to journalist Arab, and no detainee is allowed to speak to any other detainee, and anyone who speaks is brutally beaten, to the point that the detainees speak to themselves and whisper prayers, as they are forbidden from praying or practicing any religious rituals.

Regarding the detention conditions of the patients and injured among them, there are those who have had their limbs amputated, and the bullets were removed from their limbs without anesthesia, according to the detained journalist.

Highlights of the detention conditions

The detainee conveyed more about the prominent detention conditions they are subjected to. In addition to the constant process of being shackled and blindfolding, they are surrounded by police dogs at all times. Four detainees are allowed to use the bathroom for one minute, and anyone who exceeds the time is subjected to punishment. They sleep on the ground, using their shoes as pillows. As for showering, the available time is once a week for one minute, and sleeping during the day is prohibited. He noted that after 50 days of his detention, he was allowed to shave his hair. As for the food, it is a few bites of yogurt, and a piece of cucumber or tomato, which is the meal served to them constantly.

Arab [the detainee] sent a message through the lawyer Mahajneh to the world and international human rights institutions, stating that what they are subjected to is no less than the genocide their people are facing in Gaza, and he directed his demand for the necessity of immediate action to rescue them and continue to convey their suffering.

The Detainees’ Commission and the Prisoners’ Society confirmed that this visit provided new confirmation of the horrific crimes that prisoners are subjected to in the Israeli prisons and camps, specifically the detention conditions that Gaza prisoners have been subjected to since the start of the extermination war.

Enforced disappearance
The IOF has imposed a policy of enforced disappearance on Gaza prisoners since the start of the extermination war, refusing to disclose their fate, numbers, and places of detention. However, through the efforts of various institutions, which face major difficulties and challenges, it has been possible to learn some details related to the issue of Gaza prisoners, although knowing some of their places of detention does not negate the existence of secret prisons established by the IOF to detain prisoners from Gaza.

The Detainees’ Commission and the Prisoners’ Society held Israel and the countries supporting it in the ongoing extermination war against our people fully responsible for the fate of the prisoners and detainees in the occupation’s prisons, especially in light of the unprecedented level of horrific crimes that constitute one aspect of the ongoing extermination. The Commission and the Society affirm that “all the policies and crimes we are monitoring today are only consistent and systematic policies that the occupation has used for decades, with the only change being in their intensity.”

The Commission and the Society renewed their demand for the necessity of opening an impartial international investigation into the serious crimes and violations perpetrated against the prisoners and detainees in the IOF prisons and camps.

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