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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/5/10

Israeli Use of Painful Shackling As A Form of Torture

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--prevent self-injury;

-- injury to another person or property; and

-- prevent escape from lawful custody.

Per the military police commander's instruction, ordering handcuffing, including the type, is to be made in writing by the authorizing person, "and this decision shall be examined on an individual basis." Further, "handcuffing shall be in such a manner as is essential in order to secure these goals and as an only and last means to do so. Once the goal is reached, the handcuffing of the security detainee is to be halted." The facility military police commander and medical officer must approve maintaining it for over 72 hours, and handcuffs "shall be removed every three hours for a period of fifteen minutes."

The provisions of commander Instruction No. 9803, "The Transfer and Removal of Detainees from a Detention Facility," must also be followed. It states that:

"force is not to be exercised against a detainee for the purpose of the transfer or removal of the detainee from the incarceration facility unless it is impossible to execute the mission without" it. It's further established that "the use of force shall be in a degree that is reasonable and essential for the execution of the task and shall be adapted to the circumstances....reasonable proportionality is to be maintained between the desired goal and the extent of the force that is exercised" that at all times "shall serve as a last resort."

However, this instruction is vague on details during transfer and removal of detainees from incarceration facilities, thus granting soldiers a margin of leeway to exercise their own judgment and let them be harsher than necessary.

Nonetheless, the official reply acknowledges no legal basis for painful shackling, yet the procedure "is actually the case in the army" with no justification. As a result of 574 documented abuse cases, PACTI wrote to the West Bank judge advocate general and military police commander on May 13, 2009 demanding that soldiers henceforth be prohibited from using plastic handcuffs as the first and only means of controlling detainees from the time of arrest through their transfer to interrogation facilities. All painful restraint methods were also asked to be eliminated, especially shackling detainees' hands behind their back, and that procedures be established concerning the method and length of detainees' held in restraint. PACTI learned that plastic handcuffs can only be tightened, not loosened or removed unless cut off.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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