A problematic Israeli High Court dismissal of a torture complaint. A commentary by Hans Draminsky Petersen, MD

  • Hans Draminsky Petersen
Keywords: Israel torture ill-treatment documentation definition Istanbul Protocol

Abstract

It is not for the documenting medical experts (Shir, 2019), but for the court to decide whether the level of pain and suffering inflicted reaches the threshold of torture [while disregarding ill-treatment], i.e., the court upholds the prerogative to apply its own interpretation of the definition of torture, no matter existing medical evidence and disregarding the Istanbul Protocol. The criteria used to determine the level of FT's pain and suffering does not appear in the ruling.

The ruling states that the burden of proof that the "means" were not reasonable [constituting torture] falls upon the petitioner (para 36). In the light of the above (1, a-h) this is in practice impossible for the petitioner to establish. This aligns with Shir’s statement that no ISA interrogator has been indicted in 1200 torture complaints.

References

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Pérez-Sales, P (2017). Psychological Torture. Abingdon, UK and New York, USA. Routledge.

Shir, E. (2019). How to say IP in Hebrew. The case of Mr. Firas Tbeish. Torture Journal 29(2), 89-94. https://doi.org/10.7146/torture.v29i2.114967

Firas Tbeish et al. v the Attorney General et al., HCJ 9018/17 (2018), retrieved from http://stoptorture. org.il/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/F.-Tbeish- Ruling-Nov. 2018.ENG_.pdf

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World Medical Association, Declaration of Tokyo—Guidelines for Physicians concerning Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment, October 1975 retrieved

from https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-tokyo-guidelines-forphysicians-concerning-torture-and-other-cruelinhuman-or-degrading-treatment-or-punishmentin-relation-to-detention-and-imprisonment/

Published
2019-10-30
How to Cite
Petersen, H. (2019). A problematic Israeli High Court dismissal of a torture complaint. A commentary by Hans Draminsky Petersen, MD. Torture Journal, 29(2), 96-102. https://doi.org/10.7146/torture.v29i2.116128