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Jerusalem 1500/Section 2

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PAGE 01 JERUSA 01500 02 OF 04 11119Z ACTION NEA-11

INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 HA-05 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-05 H-01 INR-10 L-03 NSAE-00 NSC-05 PA-01 SP-02 SS-15 ICA-11 10-13 MCT-01 /084 W
020415 311129Z /12

R 310907Z MAY 78
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1021
INFO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV

CONFIDENTIAL SECTION 2 OF 4 JERUSALEM 1500

4. INTERROGATION. ALL FIFTEEN APPLICANTS CLAIMED THAT THEY HAD BEEN BEATEN OR OTHERWISE TORTURED DURING THE INTERROGATION SESSIONS WHICH FOLLOWED THEIR ARREST. FOUR MADE THIS CLAIM ORALLY; ELEVEN MADE WRITTEN STATEMENTS (APPENDED TO THIS REPORT) ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES. NONE OF THE APPLICANTS APPEARED TO REGARD THESE EXPERIENCES AS UNUSUAL. THEY GENERALLY INTRODUCED THE SUBJECT OF TORTURE WITH SUCH EXPRESSIONS AS, "OF COURSE, I WAS BEATEN," "I CONFESSED FOR THE USUAL REASON," AND THE LIKE. FOUR APPLICANTS SPECIFICALLY STATED THAT PERSONS ARRESTED AT THE SAME TIME AS THEY WERE, OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SAME MATTER, HAD ALSO BEEN TORTURED.

5. THE CLAIMED PHYSICAL ABUSE RAN THE GAMUT FROM "SOME MINOR BLOWS", WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL WAS QUITE READY TO DISMISS AS UNIMPORTANT, TO EPISODES WHICH ALLEGEDLY CONCLUDED WITH THE VICTIM LOSING CONSCIOUSNESS FROM PAIN, AND WHICH POSSIBLY COULD HAVE CAUSED DEATH. TWO APPLICANTS SAID THAT THEY HAD BEEN SLAPPED AND PUNCHED DURING INTERROGATION BUT CONSIDERED THIS UNIMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED THAT NORMALLY A PERSON ARRESTED IN A SECURITY CASE WAS TREATED MUCH WORSE. FOR THE REMAINING THIRTEEN APPLICANTS, INTERROGATION SEEMS TO HAVE

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BEEN A MORE SERIOUS MATTER. ONE, WHO DID NOT CONFESS, BUT WHO WAS ULTIMATELY CONVICTED ON THE BASIS OF AN ASSOCIATE'S DENUNCIATION, CHARACTERIZED HIS EXPERIENCE AS A SEVERE PHYSICAL

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AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA. TWO OTHERS STATED THAT THEY WERE BEATEN TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY CONSIDERED SIGNING FALSE CONFESSIONS, ALTHOUGH THEY DID NOT DO SO. ONE SEEMS TO HAVE CUT SHORT HIS INTERROGATION BY DENOUNCING OTHER INDIVIDUALS. EIGHT SAID THAT THEY CONFESSED TO PUT AN END TO WHAT THEY REGARDED AS INTOLERABLE PAIN AND DEGRADATION. ONE CLAIMED THAT HE CONFESSED TO AVOID PERMANENT PHYSICAL DAMAGE.

6. OF THE FIFTEEN APPLICANTS, THREE HAD BEEN ARRESTED IN 1977, FIVE IN 1976, THREE IN 1975, AND FOUR PRIOR TO 1975. EIGHT HAD BEEN INTERROGATED AT RAMALLAH, FOUR AT THE RUSSIAN COMPOUND OF JERUSALEM, TWO AT HEBRON, AND ONE AT NABLUS. DESPITE THIS DIVERSITY OF TIME AND PLACE OF INTERROGATION, THE ORAL AND WRITTEN STATEMENTS OF MOST APPLICANTS HAVE A CERTAIN BASIC SIMILARITY IN THEIR DESCRIPTION OF INTERROGATION PROCEDURES, INCLUDING THEY [sic] PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PRESSURES INVOLVED. THE MOST COMMON METHOD DESCRIBED WAS BEATING WITH FISTS OR BLUNT INSTRUMENTS. ONE APPLICANT CLAIMED THAT HIS INTERROGATORS HAD USED SPECIAL TECHNIQUES OF BEATING WHICH MINIMIZED BRUISING -- SHARP BLOWS WITH THE HEEL OFTHE [sic] HAND TO THE STOMACH, THROAT, EARS, OR TEMPLES. APPLICANTS ALSO CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN KICKED IN THE GENITALS, GOADED TO RUN UNTIL THEY COLLAPSED FROM EXHAUSTION, FORCED TO HOLD HEAVY OBJECTS FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME, AND JABBED WITH STICKS OR LARGE NEEDLES. SOME INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED IN THE WINTER SEASON SPOKE OF EXPOSURE TO EXTREME COLD: ONE, FOR INSTANCE, SAID HE HAD BEEN TAKEN OUTDOORS DURING A FREEZING JANUARY NIGHT, STRIPPED, AND DOUSED WITH COLD WATER. SOME SAID THAT THEY HAD BEEN HUNG UP BY THEIR HANDS OR SHACKLED IN AWKWARD POSITIONS. APPLICANTS MENTIONED THEY THEY UNDERWENT PORTIONS OF THEIR INTERROGATIONS (AND BEATINGS) NUDE OR BLINDFOLDED. THREE SPECIFICALLY CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO VARIOUS FORMS OF SEXUAL SADISM. MOST APPLICANTS CHARACTERIZED THE ADMINISTRATION OF PHYSICAL PAIN AS ALMOST A CASUAL PART

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OF THE INTERROGATION, BEGINNING BEFORE A SINGLE QUESTION WAS ASKED, OR PUNCTUATING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. ALL FIFTEEN

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APPLICANTS STATED THAT THEY HAD BEEN SUBJECTED TO SEVERAL INTERROGATION SESSIONS, EXTENDED OVER PERIODS VARYING FROM SEVERAL DAYS TO MORE THAN A MONTH. ONE INDIVIDUAL SAID THAT BETWEEN INTERROGATION SESSIONS HE WAS KEPT IN A CAGE ONE METER LONG AND ONE METER WIDE. THREE OTHERS ALSO MENTIONED BEING KEPT IN TINY CAGES INSTEAD OF NORMAL CELLS.

7. CONFESSION. NINE APPLICANTS INDICATED THAT THEY BELIEVED THAT THE AIM OF THE INTERROGATIONS WAS EXTRACTING CONFESSIONS RATHER THAN EXTRACTING TRUTH. SOME DETAILS IN THEIR STATEMENTS GIVE COLOR TO THIS. TWO APPLICANTS {WHO DID NOT CONFESS) SAID THEIR INTERROGATORS EXPLICITLY DEMANDED THAT THEY MANU- FACTURE FALSE CONFESSIONS, WHICH WOULD INCLUDE DENUNCIATIONS OF THEIR SUPPOSED ASSOCIATES. (ANOTHER FIVE APPLICANTS SAID THEY HAD BEEN ARRESTED AS A RESULT OF SUCH DENUNCIATIONS, AND EXAMINATION OF COURT RECORDS SUGGESTS THAT AT LEAST FOUR OTHERS MAY HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR THE SAME REASON.) TWO APPLI- CANTS SAID THAT THEIR INTERROGATORS GAVE THEM A CHOICE OF THINGS TO WHICH TO CONFESS: ONE CLAIMED HE WAS TOLD THAT HE COULD CONFESS EITHER TO MEMBERSHIP IN PDFLP[1] OR TO MEMBERSHIP IN FATAH[2], WHILE THE OTHER, HAVING CONVINCED HIS INTERROGATOR THAT HE COULD NOT POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN A COMMUNIST AS THE AUTHORITIES CLAIMED, WAS ALLEGEDLY THEN URGED TO CONFESS TO MEMBERSHIP IN AN UNNAMED "SABOTAGE ORGANIZATION". (INCIDENTALLY, THE LATTER INDIVIDUAL ALSO SAID THAT DURING THE EARLY STAGES OF HIS INTERROGATION, HE HAD BEEN CONFRONTED WITH THREE OTHER PRISONERS WHO DENOUNCED HIM AS A COMMUNIST.) ONE APPLICANT SAID THAT HE SIGNED HIS CONFESSION UNDER TORTURE WITHOUT READING IT, BUT LATER, WHEN HE HAD READ IT, FINDING SERIOUS INACCURACIES AND EXAGGERATIONS, HE WAS NOT PERMITTED TO CORRECT IT. ANOTHER, WHO SAID HE HAD CONTINUED TO MAINTAIN HIS INNOCENCE DURING MORE THAN A MONTH OF INTERROGATION UNDER TORTURE, CLAIMED THAT HE TOLD HIS INTERROGATORS TO WRITE WHATEVER THEY PLEASED AS HIS CONFESSION WHEN THEY THREATENED TO BRING

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HIS SISTER TO PRISON FOR RAPE; THEY WROTE, AND HE SAID HE SIGNED WITHOUT KNOWING THE CONTENTS OF HIS CONFESSION. YET ANOTHER SAID THAT HE SIGNED TWO CONFESSIONS: THE FIRST, HE STATED, HE HANDWROTE AT THE DICTATION OF A WHIP-WIELDING INTERROGATOR, WHILE THE SECOND WAS MERELY A SIGNED BLANK PAGE. TWO APPLICANTS CLAIMED THAT ONLY IN THE COURTROOM DID THEY LEARN THE NAMES OF THE ORGANIZATIONS IN WHICH THEY HAD CONFESSED TO BEING MEMBERS. OF THE TEN APPLICANTS WHO DID CONFESS, EIGHT REPUDIATED THEIR CONFESSIONS, WITHER WHOLLY OR IN PART, DURING THE INTERVIEW.

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Notes[edit]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).