Newsletter - April 2019
Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 March 2019 there were 5,197 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 215 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 5% increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 23% compared with 2018. These figures include 2 children held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 47% of child detainees were forcibly transferred and/or unlawfully detained in Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention in March. More statistics
Access to parents: update –
Under Israeli military law there is no legal right to have a parent present during the interrogation of a minor, however, the military authorities have acknowledged a discretion
to permit a parent to attend questioning. Under the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child a minor must be able to request the presence of a parent
during questioning – a practice adopted in multiple jurisdictions. According to data
collected by MCW, Israeli military authorities are currently exercising the discretion to permit a parent to be present in just 1% of cases – even in circumstances where the parent is already present
at the police station.
Evidence update -
Based on 80 testimonies collected from children detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank in 2018 – 51% of children report being arrested at night; 94% report being hand-tied, often painfully; 89% report being blindfolded – a practice UNICEF recommends should never occur; 56% report being transferred to interrogation centres on the metal floor of military vehicles; 70% report experiencing some form of physical abuse, such as slapping, kicking and punching; 70% report being threatened including threats made against other family members; and 75% report being denied their legal right to consult with a lawyer prior to questioning. Comparative Graph – Issues of Concern
Has the International Criminal Court failed?
- The ICC is under attack - for too few convictions, mishandling of cases and over-reach. Are any of these criticisms fair? And what do they mean for International Criminal Justice? This podcast features: Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford; John Bellinger, international lawyer, former legal adviser to the US State Department, and a fellow with the Council of Foreign Relations; and Meg deGuzman, Professor of Law at Temple Law School in Philadelphia. Also featuring Michael Masutha, Minister of Justice, South Africa. BBC podcast
A child’s testimony (No. 670) -
On 1 March 2019, a 17-year-old youth from Askar refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers near the settlement of Elon Moreh at noon. He reports being interrogated several times after being informed of his right to silence but not consulting a lawyer. “I was with some friends in an area near the settlement of Elon Moreh. It was around noon. Suddenly a group of about 20 Israeli soldiers ambushed us. One soldier grabbed me and immediately tied my hands behind my back with 1 plastic tie which was tight and painful. Then he blindfolded me.” Read more