2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven

Information transmitted to the Palestinian Authority

2001. By letter dated 11 September 2002 sent jointly with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information regarding the following individual cases.

2002. Khaled al-‘Akheh was reportedly arrested by the Preventive Security Service (PSS or al-Amn al-Wiqa’i) in Gaza on 14 February 2001 and convicted by the Gaza State Security Court on 12 August 2001 for helping Israeli forces to kill Mas’ud Ayyad on 13 February 2001. It is reported that over a period of 18 days after his arrest he was subjected to shabah, i.e. being made to stand or sit up in painful positions for long periods, often hooded or blindfolded and often combined with sleep deprivation, and repeatedly punched in the face with his head hooded. He reportedly received visitors about 20 to 30 days after his arrest. He was reportedly shot by police on 9 September 2001, allegedly while trying to escape from custody during a prison transfer in Gaza City.

2003. Suliman Qwaidh Mohammad Abu ‘Amra was reportedly arrested on 8 August 2001 by the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) and held incommunicado at the MIS’ headquarters in Gaza City until mid-August 2001. On 15 August 2001 his family was informed that he died of a heart attack while being interrogated. An autopsy conducted at Shifa Hospital reportedly found that the death resulted from “several injuries in the body and sensitive parts, such as the abdomen and scrotum, caused by repeated blows by solid objects” and that “all the wounds were recent and took place one week prior to death”. President Arafat is said to have ordered an official inquiry into this death.

2004. ‘Ala’ al-Din Hassan Muhammad Wabheh was reportedly arrested for “security reasons” on 18 October 2001 by security forces. It is reported that he died during his transfer to hospital on 21 October 2001, after having been held in incommunicado detention for three days at the General Intelligence Apparatus in Khan Yunis. His brother, a medical doctor, managed to see his body and reported that the corpse presented bruises, swellings and marks indicating that his head had been hurt and his neck wore marks of a rope or a wire.

2005. By letter dated on 19 September 2002 sent jointly with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information regarding Yusra al- Ramlawi who had reportedly been arrested in June 2001 by the General Intelligence Service (GIS or Mukhabarat). Although she informed her interrogators that she was two-months pregnant, she was reportedly beaten so severely that she allegedly had a miscarriage. Some days later she was reportedly threatened with rape by an interrogator. It is alleged that despite a complaint to other officers, the same interrogator was back at work three days later. She was transferred to the GIS section of al-Saraya prison in Gaza Strip at the end of June 2001. She was believed to have been beaten there as well. It is alleged that she was not accused of being a collaborator herself but that she nevertheless remained in detention without charge or trial at least up to September 2001.

2006. By letter dated 17 October 2002, the Special Rapporteur reminded the Government of a number of cases transmitted in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 regarding which no reply had been received.

Urgent appeals

2007. On 16 January 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of Jaweed Al-Ghussein, aged 71, on whose behalf the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on 11 October 2001 (see E/CN.4/2002/76/Add.1, paras 1817-1818). Since the beginning of his detention in Gaza, declared to be arbitrary by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in December 2001 (case No.31/2001), he has been suffering from diabetes and a serious heart condition. He reportedly developed swelling, flushing, cramps, abdominal pain and diarrhea. His doctors in Gaza and London indicated that he would have to be treated by means of advanced diagnostic facilities, such as MRI-guided biopsies and that the necessary facilities were not available in Gaza. At the end of November, Jaweed Al- Ghussein was reportedly transferred to the Palestine Hospital in Cairo. An Egyptian physician reportedly concluded that Jaweed Al- Ghussein needed “further investigation and expert management in a specialised centre such as the Royal Marsden hospital in London”. On 3 January 2002, Jaweed Al-Ghussein was said to have been forcefully returned to Gaza, where he was reportedly placed under house arrest in a house without electricity. Since the transfer, he is said to have been suffering from heart palpitations, breathing problems, flushing, diarrhea, an excessively accelerated heart rate and blood pressure of 180/110.

2008. On 8 July 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Representative on human rights defenders on behalf of Khaidar Ghanem, a B'Tselem fieldworker, who was in the custody of the Palestinian Preventive Security Apparatus. He had reportedly been arrested on 3 July 2002 in Gaza. Fears were expressed that he may have been arrested in connection with his work at B'Tselem, in particular collecting testimonies from Palestinian residents on alleged human rights violations in the Rafah area of the Gaza strip.


2009. The Special Rapporteur regrets that no response has been provided to the cases brought to the attention of the Authority since 1998.

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Zimbabwe Information transmitted to the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie-Goma (RCD-Goma)

small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.