Israeli authorities allowed a British film crew into Gaza gaol on Wednesday (28 June) to see Arab prisoners at work sitting for their Egyptian matriculation examinations.
Israeli authorities allowed a British film crew into Gaza gaol on Wednesday (28 June) to see Arab prisoners at work sitting for their Egyptian matriculation examinations. The authorities also allowed the prisoners to talk to newsmen, despite allegations in the British newspaper, the Sunday Times, that Gaza was one of the centres where Arab prisoners were tortured.
SYNOPSIS: It's believed to be the first time a foreign television crew has been allowed to talk to prisoners in any Israeli gaol where there are security detainees. A four-page report in the Sunday Times last week accused Israel of systematically ill-treating and torturing Arabs imprisoned there. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has since strongly denied the allegations, saying that torture was a criminal offence in Israel. One of the Gaza prisoners, sentenced for planting mines, spoke to newsmen.
It's estimated there are around five hundred prisoners in Gaza gaol. Most of them are political prisoners or those arrested on charges involving terrorist activities. The Sunday Times said torture of Arab prisoners took place in at least six centres and alleged one of them was Gaza. The article said some of the ill-treatment was primitive -- like prolonged beatings -- but more refined techniques were also used, including electric shock torture and confinement to specially-constructed cell. The Sunday Times said torture was organised so methodically that it appeared to be sanctioned at some level as deliberate policy. But the Israeli Foreign Ministry maintains Israel is an open society with nothing to hide.