Access to parents
The overwhelming majority of minors continue to be interrogated in the absence of a parent or close family member. In a number of cases where a parent has gone to an interrogation centre the authorities have prevented access to the child.
International juvenile justice standards
require independent scrutiny of the methods of interrogation including the presence of a parent. In February 2013, UNICEF
recommended that the questioning or interrogation of a minor should always take place in the presence of a lawyer and a family member, and should always be audio-visually recorded for the purpose of independent oversight.
Whilst there is no legal right under Israeli military law for a parent to accompany a child during interrogation, this measure does provide a degree of protection against coercive practices. Although the military authorities have acknowledged that there is a discretion
to permit parents to accompany children during interrogation, the discretion is currently being exercised
in favour of a parent being present in very few cases.
It is relevant to note that under Israeli civilian law a parent is allowed to be present at all times in circumstances where the child has not been formally arrested, but may not intervene in the interrogation process. Exceptions do apply, such as if the parent does not present him or herself within a reasonable time, or waiting for the parent would harm the investigation. However, it should be noted that the rights and protections afforded to Palestinians in the West Bank ultimately derive from international law, not Israeli civilian law.
The evidence indicates that the international standards for the presence of a parent during questioning are ignored in almost every case and the discretion under military regulations to permit accompaniment is almost never exercised in favour of the parent being present.
- W.R.M.S. - January 2017
- H.Y.O.E. - January 2017
- J.I.A.R. - December 2016
- A.M.R.A. - December 2016
- T.K.Y.A. - November 2016