Abusing East Jerusalem Children - by Stephen Lendman
Israel tortures and abuses Palestinian children young as 6.
Last July, B'Tselem published a report titled, "No Minor Matter: Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors by Israel on Suspicion of Stone-Throwing." It discussed their abusive treatment.
From 2005 through 2010, "at least 835 Palestinian minors were arrested" and faced military court trials for alleged stone-throwing. Thirty-four were aged 12 - 13, 255 aged 14 - 15, and 546 aged 16 -17.
All except one were convicted. Due process and judicial fairness were denied. In violation of international law, Israel treats children like adults. Some aged 10 or younger are arrested, intimidated, tortured, or otherwise abused.
In fact, on January 12, Al Haq reported "a new line crossed" after Israeli security forces harassed, blindfolded, arrested, and detained a seriously ill six-year old boy for seven hours. Obviously, his parents were frantic.
Soldiers usually make middle-of-the-night arrests. Children are taken away alone. Parents can't accompany them. Abusive interrogations follow. Enough food and water, bathroom privileges and proper sleep are denied. Nearly always, convictions and detentions follow.
Defense for Children International/Palestine Section (DCI/Palestine) covers their ill-treatment and torture during arrest, transfer, interrogation, detention, and for some, solitary confinement isolation. Case studies explain the traumatizing effects. More on them below.
DCI/Palestine says about 700 Palestinian children are prosecuted annually in Israeli military tribunals affording them no rights. Conviction rates are 99%. Those charged are guilty by accusation.
Children like 12-year old Bashar M. was arrested pre-dawn. His hands were painfully bound behind his back. He was blindfolded, placed on a military vehicle floor, verbally abused, slapped on the face, kept blindfolded at Al Mascobiyya interrogation center, strip-searched on arrival, struck again, denied bail or legal representation, traumatized, and told either confess (to stone throwing) or be imprisoned for a very long time.
Other children report similar or worse treatment including pre-trial isolation, torture, and other forms of abuse.
Physicians for Human Rights/Israel (PHR/I) contributor Dr. Graciela Carmon discussed "Coerced False Confessions: The Case of Palestinian Children."
Addressing psychological and social factors affecting them in custody, she posed three main questions:
(1) What affect do abusive interrogations have "on the behavior and mental state" of children and adolescents?
(2) What emotional and social consequences affect them and their families?
(3) What psychological, developmental and social factors increase their vulnerability to give coerced false confessions?