Monday, November 21, 2011

Some Israeli Physicians Complicit in Torture

Some Israeli doctors have cooperated in the torture and mistreatment of prisoners, according to a report by two human rights organisations, Physicians for Human Rights Israel and the Public Committee against Torture in Israel. Their claims are based on more than 100 cases of ill treatment of Palestinian detainees since 2007.

The report says that doctors' failure to document mistreatment makes legal redress practically impossible for detainees. Furthermore, the presence of doctor and nurses at interrogation facilities gives a stamp of approval to illegal treatment. "Medical professionals see themselves as part of the imprisoning apparatus, and see themselves as serving this system and its needs even at the price of the patient's well-being."

The report describes harsh interrogation methods such as hitting, isolation, sleep deprivation, prolonged cuffing to a chair in painful positions, insufficient food, and lack of access to toilet facilities. The Israel Medical Association, "does not bother to enforce the ethical rules they themselves proclaim," according to the report.

Hadas Ziv, of Physicians for Human Rights Israel, told the BMJ that she hoped that the report would have an effect. The health ministry had set up a committee for doctors to report torture, and the Israeli Medical Association's leadership seemed more willing to condemn doctors who broke ethical codes. ~ BMJ, Nov 7

1 comment:

George Patsourakos said...

Israeli physicians who have cooperated in the torture and mistreatment of prisoners should be severely punished (for example, losing their license to practice medicine).

The Geneva Convention and the United Nations Human Rights Organization clearly forbid this kind of treatment of prisoners.