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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Report: Gaza detainees held bound for days

Seven Israeli human rights groups file complaint with military advocate general chief, attorney general regarding what they describe as IDF's 'inhumane, appalling treatment' of Palestinian detainees during Gaza op

Handcuffed and blindfolded

Seven Israeli human rights organizations urged Chief Military Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mendelblit and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Wednesday to launch an investigation into reports that Gaza detainees were held in "horrid conditions" and treated "inhumanely" during the IDF's operation in the Strip.

In a letter to Mazuz and Mendelblit, the groups, which include the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, B'Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights said that detainees arrested by IDF forces in Gaza suffered from appalling treatment while in the army's custody.

The groups claimed that based on testimonies gathered from some of the detainees by lawyers working for the Public Committee Against Torture, many of the prisoners were held inside holes in the ground for long hours, while they were handcuffed, blindfolded and left exposed to the harsh weather.

"We were handcuffed and blindfolded. They put us in a three-meter deep ditch with some 70 other people," Majdi Muhammad Ayid al-Atar, 43, from northern Gaza described in his testimony. More