Military Court Watch - Newsletter May 2018

 Web: www.militarycourtwatch.org | Twitter: @MCourtWatch

Web: www.militarycourtwatch.org | Twitter: @MCourtWatch

Newsletter - May 2018

Detention figures

According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 April 2018 there were 5,772 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in Israeli detention facilities including 315 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 4% increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual increase of 6% compared with 2017. These figures include 3 children held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 53% of child detainees were unlawfully transferred and/or detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention during the month. Child detention rates are currently up 67% since UNICEF published its child detention report in 2013.
More statistics >> 

The right to a lawyer – Case analysis

On 2 August 2017, a judge at Ofer military court rejected the admissibility of a statement given by a Palestinian minor during a police interrogation in the West Bank on the basis that, inter alia, the boy was denied access to a lawyer prior to interrogation as required under Israeli military law. This is at least the second time that Judge Lt. Col. Yair Tirosh has rejected evidence based on a lack of access to a lawyer. However, recent evidence indicates that over 80 percent of minors continue to report being interrogated without prior access to a lawyer. The facts of the case involve a Palestinian minor who attempted to pass through a checkpoint while carrying a knife concealed under his shirt. 
Read more >>

A child’s testimony

On 7 May 2018, a 13-year-old boy from Azzun was detained by Israeli soldiers at 5:00 p.m. while inside a shop. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to consult with a lawyer or his right to silence. He was released without charge at 1:30 a.m. “I was at a local store when I saw a patrol of Israeli soldiers in the street and I started to film them on my mobile phone. It was around 5:00 p.m. Then, without any notice, the soldiers came over and accused me of throwing stones at them. I was terrified and before I knew it I was thrown into the back of a jeep. Once inside the jeep the soldiers started to shout at me and ask me why I threw stones at them.
Read more >>

Australia responds to unlawful transfer question

On 2 December 2015, MCW wrote to Australia’s representative in Ramallah concerning Australia’s legal obligations under Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention in relation to Israel’s policy of transferring Palestinian child detainees out of the West Bank in violation of Article 76 of the Convention. On 27 March 2018 (received 30 May 2018) the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) replied stating that “The Australian Government takes a proactive approach to the issue of Palestinians in detention”. Although MCW’s letter asked specific questions regarding the Fourth Geneva Convention, DFAT’s response made no reference to the Convention or Australia’s legal obligations. MCW has also received responses from the USUKNorway and Canada.

Haaretz: How the US State Department Deleted the Occupied Territories

Its official reports now adopt the 'occupation denial' language of senior Trump appointees. But the damage to America's credibility won't be limited to Israel/Palestine: Russia and China will also have reason to celebrate. Recently the Acting Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan, released the State Department’s annual human rights report covering nearly 200 countries and territories around the world. The report is required by U.S. law and is used as a factual resource for Congress, the Executive and Judicial branches in their decision-making processes. In his remarks during the launch of this year’s report, Acting Secretary Sullivan stated that: 
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Hamoked: Childhood in Chains – The Detention and Interrogation of Palestinian Teenagers in the West Bank

This report reviews the findings from 29 affidavits taken from children arrested by the Israeli military in the West Bank in 2017. The affidavits focus on the children's arrest, the hours between the arrests and their interrogation, and the interrogations themselves. The affidavits portray a grim picture: following their arrest in the middle of the night, the minors are taken, alone, on an exhausting night-time journey. The affidavits point to a routine, systematic ordeal that brings many minors to a breaking point, both physically and mentally, during their arrest and interrogation.
Read more >>

Source: Military Court Watch, Newsletter, May 2018 >>


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