Joint List Urges Opening of Probe into Torture of Jailed Palestinian

The Joint List sent a letter on Monday, September 30, to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit urging him to immediately open an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the hospitalization in critical condition of a Palestinian activist after he was interrogated by Israel’s security services. According to Arabic language Communist newspaper Al-Ittihad the letter sent by the Joint List to the AG contends that “The conduct of the security system, including the Shin Bet, in this case involved crossing a red line and breaking the law… There must be a thorough examination of the circumstances in this case, and a conclusion must be reached. Measures must be taken to limit torture and to prosecute those involved.”

In the letter, the Joint List said that Samer Arbid, the alleged ringleader of the cell accused of carrying out the August terror bombing, which killed 17-year-old settler Rina Shnerb and seriously injured her father and brother, had been in good health at the time of his arrest

Samer Arbid

Samer Arbid (Photo: Addameer)

“Torture and the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners is in direct violation of international law and principles of human rights,” the letter continued. “We ask you to immediately intervene and direct all the professional bodies in your office to initiate an immediate investigation against those involved in the arrest, and the use of unreasonable force and torture.”

On Sunday, Hadash MK Ofer Cassif (Joint List) accused the Shin Bet of torturing Arbid. “The use of torture is terrible and not allowed, no matter what it is directed against. We cannot accept the torture of the suspect in the murder of Rina Shnerb, as vile as his actions were,” he wrote on Twitter. Arbid was hospitalized in critical condition on Saturday, September 28, after an interrogation by the Shin Bet security service, his attorneys said.

According to Haaretz, which first reported Arbid’s hospitalization, the Shin Bet was illegally given permission to employ “extraordinary measures” in its interrogation of Arbid.

Arbid was taken to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus in critical condition after he suffered a heart-related problem during the interrogation. His attorneys said he had been healthy when he was arrested, Haaretz reported. “Samer Arbid was severely tortured by Israeli interrogators. He was transferred to the hospital in a state of unconsciousness and suffered a number of fractures,” his lawyers said in a statement released by the Addameer Foundation, a Palestinian legal organization that represents Palestinian prisoners.