A problematic Israeli High Court dismissal of a torture complaint. A commentary by Hans Draminsky Petersen, MD
Keywords:Israel torture ill-treatment documentation definition Istanbul Protocol
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.
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