Public Committee Against Torture Refers Israel to International Criminal Court

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) said on Friday it had demanded that Israelis involved in torture be tried as part of an investigation by the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) over suspected war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Torture in Israeli jails (B’Tselem)

According to PCATI “Israel is not interested and unable to stop the use of torture against Palestinians and after 30 years of fighting torture it had reached the unfortunate conclusion” that Israel has no wish to end torture, honestly investigate victims’ complaints and prosecute those responsible.

“For us, this is a necessary and obligatory step today in our struggle for the moral image of Israeli society, and for the sake of justice for the victims we represent,” it said in a statement published in Zo Haderech news website.

Established in 1990, the PCATI has represented and worked to protect Israelis, Palestinians, refugees and migrants who have suffered torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in detention. The PCATI noted that over 1,300 complaints of torture victims had been filed with Israeli law enforcement authorities between 2001 and 2021 in the belief that the system will fulfil its duty, conduct fair and exhaustive investigations and do justice to the victims.

However, the group said, that led to zero indictments and just two criminal investigations – including in cases where “unequivocal evidence of serious violations of the law” has been collected. “The law in Israel backs up the culture of falsehood and cover-up that still exists in the security system,” the PCATI said.

The PCATI application is submitted in cooperation with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), an organization that unites 192 human rights organizations from around the world.