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Jerusalem 1500/Section 4

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CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 01 JERUSA 01500 04 OF 04 311125Z
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
020458 311130Z /15

R 310907Z MAY 78
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1023
INFO AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV


CONFIDENTIAL SECTION 4 OF 4 JERUSALEM 1500

10. THE RED CROSS. ONE APPLICANT, WHO HAD BEEN INTERROGATED IN HEBRON IN 1974, MENTIONED THAT THE RED CROSS HAD BEEN HELPFUL TO HIM AND OTHER PRISONERS IN ARRANGING FAMILY VISITS AND THE DELIVERY OF PARCELS. HOWEVER, HE ALSO NOTED THAT WHEN RED CROSS REPRESENTATIVES CAME TO CHECK ON THE CONDITION OF THE PRISONERS, PRISON OFFICIALS HID PERSONS WHO HAD RECENTLY UNDERGONE INTERROGATION AND TORTURE IN SPECIAL CAGES TO WHICH THE RED CROSS DID NOT HAVE ACCESS. IN HIS OWN CASE, THE RED CROSS SUCCEEDED IN ARRANGING A FAMILY VISIT ONLY ONE MONTH AFTER HIS FORTY-DAY INTERROGATION AND ALLEGED TORTURE WERE TERMINATED BY CONFESSION. ALTHOUGH THE RECENT MOVE TO PERMIT RED CROSS VISITS TO PRISONERS ON THE FOURTEENTH DAY AFTER ARREST CERTAINLY REPRESENTS AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THIS


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SITUATION, APPLICANTS' STATEMENTS RAISE SOME QUESTION AS TO WHETHER EVEN INTERVENTION ON THE FOURTEENTH DAY WOULD PROVE TIMELY IN MOST CASES. ONE APPLICANT, WHO DID NOT CONFESS, SAID THAT HE HAD BEEN BEATEN DURING THE FIRST FIFTEEN DAYS OF DETENTION, ON SIX OR SEVEN OCCASIONS, ANOTHER, WHO ALSO DID NOT CONFESS, WAS INTERROGATED FOR THREE DAYS AND BEATEN DURING THE FIRST TWO DAYS. A THIRD INDIVIDUAL, WHO WAS ARRESTED FOR INTERROGATION TWICE, SAID HE HAD BEEN BEATEN FOR THE FIRST WEEK OF HIS FIRST ARREST AND FOR THE INITIAL FOUR DAYS OF HIS SECOND ARREST. ANOTHER APPLICANT SAID THAT HE HAD CONFESSED AFTER FIVE OR SIX SESSIONS OF INTERROGATION AND BEATING,

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WHICH OCCURRED DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF HIS ARREST. THREE OTHER APPLICANTS STATED THAT THEY HAD CONFESSED UNDER TORTURE IN SEVEN DAYS, TEN DAYS, AND ELEVEN DAYS, RESPECTIVELY. YET ANOTHER, WHO SIGNED TWO CONFESSIONS, SAID THAT TORTURE INDUCED HIM TO SIGN ONE CONFESSION ON THE FIRST DAY OF ARREST, AND ANOTHER CONFESSION ON THE SECOND DAY.

11. CONCLUSION. THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT THE USE OF BRUTALITY IN THE INTERROGATION OF ARAB PRISONERS ARRESTED IN SECURITY CASES MAY BE WIDESPREAD, AND POSSIBLY EVEN COMMON, PRACTICE. IT IS DIFFICULT TO SEE HOW THIS COULD BE SO UNLESS THE PRACTICE WERE "OFFICIALLY IGNORED" AND PERHAPS TACITLY CONDONED. IN VIEW OF THE CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF THE ACCUSED'S CONFESSION IN SECURING CONVICTIONS IN THIS TYPE OF CASE, ONE MAY WELL QUESTION THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MILITARY COURTS SEEMING TO FOLLOW SOME OF THE OUTWARD FORMS OF DUE PROCESS. IT MAY WELL BE CONCLUDED THAT THIS IS LESS A PURSUIT OF JUSTICE THAN AN EXERCISE WITH CERTAIN POLITICAL AIMS IN VIEW. IN ANY EVENT, THE ABOVE FIRST-HAND REPORT OF ONE OF THE POST'S CONSULAR OFFICERS PROVIDES BACKGROUND MATERIAL FOR THE DEPARTMENT IN ADVANCE OF THEIR PREPARATION OF NEXT YEAR'S REPORT TO CONGRESS.

12. IT SHOULD BE BORNE IN MIND, OF COURSE, THAT NEITHER THE INTERVIEWING OFFICER NOR THE POST HAD ANY MEANS OF OBTAINING CORROBORATING OR INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT AS TO THE VERACITY OF EACH OF THE STATEMENTS MADE BY THE 15 INDIVIDUALS. NEVERTHELESS, THERE IS, AS POINTED OUT, A MARKED CONSISTENCY IN THE VARIOUS ALLEGATIONS REGARDING PHYSICAL ABUSE, EFFORT TO OBTAIN CONFESSIONS, AND COURT PRACTICES. IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THAT THE 15 APPLICANTS HAD ANY MEANS OF REHEARSING AND COORDINATING THEIR INDIVIDUAL STORIES IN ADVANCE OF THEIR CONSULAR OFFICER INTERVIEWS.

NEWLIN [1]

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Note[edit]

  1. Michael H. Newlin, Consul General, 1975-1980. U.S. diplomatic messages are sent over the name of the head of the mission that sends them.

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).