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Experts of the Committee against Torture Praise the State of Palestine for Supporting Female Victims of Violence, Ask about Conditions in Detention Centres and Torture Legislation

Meeting Summaries

 

The Committee against Torture today concluded its consideration of the initial report of the State of Palestine, with Committee Experts praising the State of Palestine’s support for female victims of violence and raising questions about conditions in detention centres and the lack of legislation defining and prohibiting torture.

Naoko Maeda, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, said that a special unit and support network had been established to provide support services and shelter for female victims of violence. These were commendable developments. Ms. Maeda noted, however, that gender-based violence and discrimination remained prevalent. What legal frameworks were in place to combat gender-based violence, and what efforts had the State made to raise awareness about the issue?

Sébastien Touze, Country Co-Rapporteur for the State of Palestine and Committee Expert, said that conditions of detention for detainees were of grave concern. Up to 12 persons were housed in small cells; there were concerns related to ventilation and hygiene in cells; and there was a lack of medical care provided for persons with serious illnesses. What measures did the State party intend to implement to improve conditions in detention centres?

Mr. Touze also noted that torture was not specifically defined within national legislation and called for torture to be generally criminalised. Definitions of torture within legislation were varied and too narrow, he said. Would it be possible to harmonise legislation on torture?

On violence against women, the delegation said that a unit had been established to consider such violence in collaboration with the United Nations. A specialised court for such violence had also been set up, and judges had been trained specifically on violence against women.

As for conditions in detention centres, the delegation explained that the State had earmarked resources to create a new detention facility in Hebron to address prison overcrowding in the region, with the support of funding from the United States. Funding, however, had been stopped by the United States in 2017. Another high security detention facility had been constructed in Jericho that met with the highest international standards, with the support of funding from the International Committee of the Red Cross. There were toilets in each cell of this facility, appropriate sunlight, and high-quality food and medical services.

The delegation also explained that there were several specialised legal committees working toward harmonising national legislation. A draft law had been created that defined and banned torture even when ordered by a superior. There were plans to revise national legislation to reflect the recommendations of treaty bodies.

In closing remarks, Claude Heller, Committee Chair, highlighted the quality of the responses provided by the delegation. Mr. Heller expressed hope that the State of Palestine would submit its second report in more favourable domestic circumstances. He wished the State party every success in fulfilling its responsibilities under the Convention.

In his concluding remarks, Ziyad M. M. Habalreeh, Minister of Interior of the State of Palestine and head of the delegation, said that the State of Palestine abhorred torture and would not allow it to happen. The State was in an exceptional position, living under occupation by Israel. The Israeli occupation interfered with every aspect of life in the State. However, the State party took responsibility for protecting the rights of its citizens. The State party, he assured, would work hard to implement the Committee’s recommendations.

The delegation of the State of Palestine consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Interior; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates; High Judicial Council; Correctional and Rehabilitation Centres; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Social Development; Ministry of Justice; Public Prosecution; Security Forces Judicial Authority; and the Permanent Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will issue the concluding observations on the report of the State of Palestine at the end of its seventy-fourth session on 29 July. Those, and other documents relating to the Committee’s work, including reports submitted by States parties, will be available on the session’s webpage. Summaries of the public meetings of the Committee can be found  here, and webcasts of the public meetings can be found  here.

The Committee will next meet in public on Thursday, 19 July at 3 p.m. to conclude its consideration of the initial report of Botswana (CAT/C/BWA/1).

Report

The Committee has before it the initial report of the State of Palestine (CAT/C/PSE/1).

Presentation of Report

ZIYAD M. M. HABALREEH, Minister of Interior of the State of Palestine and head of the delegation, said that the Israeli occupation in the State of Palestine was interfering with Palestinian life, and the Palestinian people were seeking to break free from this occupation, secure their inalienable rights and establish a sovereign Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. Successive Israeli Governments had ignored international human rights conventions and had sought to prevent Palestinian State institutions from operating freely and effectively in State territories.

The State of Palestine had a pluralistic democratic system that protected freedoms and guaranteed human rights and justice. The 1988 Declaration of Independence and the amended Palestinian Basic Law of 2003 emphasised these principles as the reference for all laws and legislation governing political, social, economic and cultural life in the State of Palestine. The State’s accession to international human rights treaties was an expression of its belief in the importance of building and institutionalising the justice and human rights system. The dialogue with the Committee would help to restore the rights that successive occupying powers had robbed from the people of the State of Palestine.

The Palestinian Government was constantly working on plans and programmes to build capacities and address challenges and legislative shortcomings regarding civil and security services. The State had worked on a range of interventions to develop its capacity to respect human rights, prevent torture and strengthen its law enforcement capacity. It had developed laws, regulations and information campaigns related to the work of security forces and the Ministry of Interior to ensure that these officials respected international standards. A draft law establishing a national mechanism for the prevention of torture had also been developed through consultation with civil society and would soon be implemented.

The State of Palestine conducted regular, unannounced visits to detention and rehabilitation centres to assess their conditions and prevent torture and other human rights violations. The State had also developed mechanisms that received complaints relating to security forces and law enforcement officials. These units had implemented reforms and held courses and workshops aiming to strengthen complaint mechanisms in security institutions, and had developed online channels for the submission of complaints. The State of Palestine had also granted local and international civil society institutions the right to visit, enter and search any detention and rehabilitation centre, and to submit suggestions to relevant authorities.

The Office of Coordination and Training had developed integrity and transparency training for security forces, and a guide on human rights and interaction with journalists. Training also dealt with issues such as the rights of women, children, juveniles, persons with disabilities, and inmates, the use of force and crowd control measures, and responses to complaints.

The State of Palestine considered that the right to freedom of association and assembly was a fundamental right. Palestinian law ensured that non-governmental organizations could be registered and dissolved fairly and transparently, and regulated their actions, encouraging their freedoms while preventing any acts that violated the law. The State of Palestine encouraged the independence and participation of civil society institutions and promoted regular dialogue between these organizations and the State. It also defended these organizations when they were targeted by the Israeli authorities.

The occupation of the State of Palestine’s land by Israel hindered the State of Palestine in building the State and its institutions. The State of Palestine was opposed to torture. Israel was the only State that had legalised and sanctioned torture, and citizens were being tortured and subjected to ill-treatment by occupying forces daily whenever they moved through military checkpoints. The Israeli authorities were responsible for the deaths of many Palestinian citizens, and 256 Palestinian citizens had been buried in Israeli cemeteries. Mr. Habalreeh called on the Committee to take this situation into account.

The State party would seriously consider the comments and recommendations of the Committee. These would play a positive role in building and developing the State’s strategy for preventing torture, and help to promote democracy, human rights and freedoms in the State.

Questions by Committee Experts

SÉBASTIEN TOUZE, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, said that the Committee noted that the State party had been under occupation by Israel since 1967. This made it extremely difficult to conform to the provisions of the Convention. The Committee would keep in mind that Palestinians were affected by limitations on freedom of movement, demolition of houses, illegal settlements and restriction to access to health services by Israel. Due to political and geographic divisions, the Palestinians continued to be subjected to several legal systems.

In 2014, the State of Palestine had acceded to the Convention, and in 2017 it acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention. Why had these not been published in the official gazette? How did the State work to raise awareness about the Convention? Was civil society involved in drafting legislation related to the Convention?

Torture was not specifically defined within national legislation. Mr. Touze called for torture to be generally criminalised. Definitions of torture within legislation were varied and too narrow. The Expert called for broader, uniform definitions of torture in legislation. Would it be possible to harmonise legislation on torture? Security forces were permitted to commit torture if ordered to do so by a superior. This contradicted the obligations of the Convention and should be revised. Sanctions for acts of torture in State legislation were also insufficient. How did the State intend to amend legislation to bring sanctions in line with international standards?

Rules were in place regarding the deprivation of liberty, but Human Rights Watch had reported several allegations of torture and ill-treatment of persons deprived of liberty in Gaza and the West Bank. Persons had allegedly been chained, deprived of sleep, placed in solitary confinement, and abused physically and sexually. Why had these abuses occurred despite legislation preventing them?

The Committee had received allegations from detainees that they had not been given access to an attorney. Some attorneys who had been authorised to meet their clients had allegedly been forced to wait several days, and were placed under surveillance when meeting with clients. What measures could be adopted to improve access to attorneys for detainees? There was no legislation requiring attorneys to be present for all stages of legal proceedings, and defendants could be questioned without the presence of an attorney “when necessary”. In what circumstances was this necessary? How were medical examinations for detainees conducted? How long did it take for such examinations to be performed, and who performed them?

Information received by the Committee pointed to incommunicado detention in detention centres in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. What measures had been taken by authorities to inform relatives of detained persons of the detention? Persons were allegedly being held without being questioned, in some instances for several months. This practice led to prison overcrowding. There were allegations of arbitrary detention of political opponents and human rights defenders. How did the delegation respond to these allegations?

Administrative detention was allegedly used when there was a lack of evidence. In what cases could a Governor impose administrative detention? How many persons were currently under administrative detention? There had been cases where release orders from courts had not been implemented. Why had orders not been implemented? What were the administrative procedures surrounding a court order?

State officials could investigate detention centres to ensure that detainees were not being held illegally. What had been the findings of such visits? There was a lack of data in the State report related to conditions in places of depravation of liberty. In what facilities were people held while awaiting trial? How many people had been detained and were awaiting trial? The national human rights commission had carried out 1,900 visits of detention centres and published reports on those visits, but the recommendations of the commission had seemingly not been implemented.

Conditions of detention for detainees were of grave concern. Detainees were exposed to inhuman treatment due to overcrowding, with up to 12 persons housed in small cells. Isolation cells were also very small. There were concerns related to ventilation and hygiene in cells, and there was a lack of medical care provided for persons with serious illnesses. Detainees did not have access to private toilets or hygienic supplies. Women also had limited access to healthcare services, and general practitioners working at such facilities had not received training in dealing with female inmates or supporting childbirth. What measures did the State party intend to implement to improve conditions in detention centres, and limit the number of people detained in the pre-trial phase?

The State guaranteed the right of all persons to file complaints against law enforcement and security officers. The procedure for filing complaints was unclear, however. Why did persons need to gain the permission of officials to file complaints against them? Civil society organizations had challenged figures on complaints given in the State party report. Several reports noted that there were in fact 346 complaints regarding torture, of which only 48 had been investigated, and only one offender had been punished with 10 days imprisonment.

The death sentence was still applied in the State. How many times had the death penalty been passed down during the reporting period? Was the death penalty carried out in practice, and in what manner was it carried out? In what conditions were persons on death row held?

Under the Optional Protocol, Mr. Touze said that the State was required to establish a national prevention mechanism for torture. A committee had been established toward this, however, in 2020, a bill had been drafted that established that a civil servant was to be appointed as the chair of the mechanism. Were there plans to amend this legislation?

NAOKO MAEDA, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, said that the State of Palestine had made many achievements, and hoped that the dialogue would lead to further improvements. A special unit had been established to support and provide shelter for female victims of violence. The State party was also working to establish a support network for women by linking State institutions. These were commendable developments. What punishments could be faced by women who committed crimes such as incest, and what legal aid was provided to such women? Gender-based violence and discrimination remained prevalent. What legal frameworks were in place to combat gender-based violence? What efforts had the State made to raise awareness about gender-based violence? Women were allegedly discouraged from reporting abuses by family members. What punishments were provided for perpetrators of honour killings in the Gaza Strip, and how many such incidents had occurred? Did the State intend to provide training for the judiciary related to gender-based violence? What rehabilitation programmes were in place for perpetrators and victims?

A special department had been established to protect child victims of violence. Ms. Maeda commended the establishment of this department. Twenty-five per cent of children had been subjected to a form of physical or psychological violence at school. Was corporal punishment permitted at schools? What punishments were handed down to teachers who committed corporal punishment? Were schools supervised by the State?

The minimum age of criminal responsibility was 12 years. Would the State party consider raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 years? What financial resources were provided to the social units of juvenile justice institutions?

The High Commissioner for Human Rights had raised concerns about violent attacks against female human rights defenders. Could the State party provide data on such incidents? What measures had it taken to prevent such violence?

Tear gas had been used to control crowds in refugee camps, and this had affected children and elderly persons living in these camps. What measures were in place to ensure that crowd control measures did not affect the health of persons in refugee camps?

Why was torture not considered to be an extraditable offence? How did the State ensure that persons who committed acts of torture in foreign States were punished in the State of Palestine?

According to the Palestinian Basic Law, the President could declare a state of emergency for a period of up to 60 days, but the state of emergency implemented in response to COVID-19 had far exceeded this period. What restrictions had been imposed under this state of emergency? Did the Government have a plan to repeal it?

Another Committee Expert acknowledged the challenges being faced by the State of Palestine. Mental health was a serious issue in the State of Palestine. The State of Palestine had the highest rate of mental health issues in the Middle East. The current mental health care system lacked resources. There were only 20 psychiatrists operating in the West Bank, and only one psychiatric hospital in Bethlehem. What measures had the State party implemented to protect the rights and prevent the ill-treatment of persons with mental health problems?

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said that it was important to delve into allegations of human rights abuses. The State of Palestine would act responsibly in addressing these allegations. The recommendations of the Committee would be reported to the President of the State of Palestine and would be implemented.

The goal of the State of Palestine was to achieve freedom and protect the rights of its citizens. The State had been stripped of its right to self-determination by Israel, and it was determined to restore this self-determination. There was only one set of laws in the State of Palestine. The State did not recognise the laws implemented in the occupied territories. Capital punishment was unfortunately still applicable in Gaza. Those who had implemented this punishment should be held accountable. There was an entanglement of obsolete laws that had been implemented by occupying forces, and the State had worked to address these by adhering to international treaties.

Although the Convention had not been published in the official gazette, it applied to national laws. The State of Palestine was a mix of a dualist and monist system. The State was taking measures to harmonise treaties in national legislation and implement them. There was no law that completely forbade capital punishment, but a Presidential Decree had stopped the application of capital punishment in the West Bank. International treaties had been given superior status over national laws by the Constitutional Court. The legal norms provided in international treaties needed to be applied to national laws, and once this process had finished, the treaties would be published in the national gazette.

There were several specialised legal committees working toward harmonising national legislation. A draft law had been created that defined and banned torture even when ordered by a superior. Psychological torture and harmful experimentation on humans were prohibited by current legislation. Administrative detention was not devoid of judicial guarantees, and a State body had been established to oversee administrative detention. There were plans to revise national legislation to reflect the recommendations of treaty bodies.

The state of emergency law was not used in a criminal way. It was used to face up to the pandemic and to serve the health of the society of the State of Palestine. The state of emergency was based on article 110 of the Basic Law, which stated that emergency measures could be implemented until the threat to society had passed. The state of emergency had not impeded daily life in the State.

Laws that outlawed torture in the State of Palestine included the Criminal Code in the West Bank and Gaza, the Criminal Procedural Code, the Revolutionary Procedural Code, and the Fundamental Law of Palestine. The State party was seeking to harmonise this legislation. Confessions obtained through torture were deemed null and void through national legislation. Legislation also protected children from inhumane treatment, including corporal punishment. Any assault on personal freedom represented a crime with no statute of limitations. The State offered effective remedies for all victims of assault.

The death sentence was not practiced in the State of Palestine. The death penalty mentioned in past laws could not be passed down without a Presidential decree, and the President had never issued such a decree. The Supreme Court had ruled that the death sentence was an infringement of the Constitution.

There were several guarantees granted to arrested persons. They had the right to be informed about the reasons of their arrest, the right to a lawyer, the right to remain silent, and the right to undergo an inquiry without facing torture or ill-treatment. The Human Rights Department of the Public Prosecutor’s Office registered complaints of torture, and organised forensic doctors to investigate those claims. When complaints were found to be justified, they were passed to the relevant criminal justice body. Complaints were confidential, and the department took all necessary measures to protect complainants and deal with complaints in a timely manner. Any person who was a victim of torture could file a request for compensation. The Public Prosecutor’s Office also monitored places of arrest. Places of arrest were monitored monthly using a standardised procedure based on the Mandela Rules.

Article 120 of the Criminal Procedural Code specified that police had 24 hours to collect evidence, and after that time, the arrested person was required to appear before the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Office was able to extend the period of detention when this was necessary for the investigation. Claims opposing such detention were required to be heard by a judge.

A unit had been established to consider violence against women in collaboration with the United Nations. A specialised court for such violence had been set up, and judges had been trained specifically on violence against women.

The State had earmarked resources to create a new detention facility in Hebron to address prison overcrowding in the region, with the support of funding from the United States. Funding had been stopped by the United States in 2017. Another high security detention facility had been constructed in Jericho that met with the highest international standards with the support of funding from the International Committee of the Red Cross. There were toilets in each cell of this facility, appropriate sunlight, and high-quality food and medical services. There had only been five complaints relating to employees working in that centre, and the centre was supervised regularly by international human rights bodies.

The Ministry of Interior was responsible for implementing measures related to the Convention. Publishing the Convention in the official gazette required analysis of the compatibility of the Convention with domestic legislation. The Ministry had distributed the Convention to the police, and was working on a dossier on human rights and combatting torture for military personnel. There was a focus in this dossier on refusing to carry out unlawful orders from superiors. The Ministry had created a specialised system for gathering data related to international conventions. It had also worked to establish the national prevention mechanism for torture, holding dialogues with relevant civil society organizations. The mechanism would be vital in ensuring accountability of Government officials and good governance. The draft law establishing the mechanism provided a definition of torture. The law had been revised to ensure the independence of the mechanism. Israel had hampered the creation of the mechanism by preventing State organizations to act in Jerusalem.

Many peaceful protests in the State of Palestine had been organised. Some rallies, however, had led to aggression against police officers and other citizens, and force was required to respond to that aggression. A national commission had been set up to oversee the police’s response to rallies, and investigate claims against the police. Police officers who were suspected to have committed a crime were sent to a military court. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization had provided training to the police on the security of journalists. The trade union for journalists had drafted a manual on the rights of journalists, and this was welcomed by the State party.

Certain pieces of legislation in the State of Palestine had been inherited from other States such as Jordan, and these were applied in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Under this legislation, torture was punished with up to three years imprisonment, but other offences carried harsher penalties. To bring legislation in line with the provisions of international conventions, State of Palestine had established a committee to develop legislation on torture and degrading treatment. This draft legislation considered torture to be a heinous crime and was punished accordingly. The committee was working to harmonise national legislation on torture. A statute of limitation was not considered for crimes of torture, and persons who committed torture could not be pardoned. Jordanian law allowed administrative detention in extreme cases, but the State of Palestine was currently trying to eliminate this law. All complaints lodged with the military judiciary were duly processed.

The law on extradition prohibited the extradition of Palestinian citizens to a foreign State. The State of Palestine was willing and able to prosecute all crimes of torture regardless of the State in which it occurred.

An operational guide for health services provided in detention centres had been developed by the State. There was data available on the number of prison inmates, the average number of new daily inmates and the number of released inmates.

There were more than one million citizens who needed psychiatric care, many due to violations by Israeli forces. The Ministry of Health had established 14 health centres in the West Bank and six in the Gaza Strip. The Ministry provided mental health care services through a mental health centre in Bethlehem, and was working on improving the mental health services that it provided. The Ministry also received and addressed complaints regarding mistreatment from health care workers.

The draft law on the protection of the family criminalised all forms of sexual violence. This draft legislation had been reviewed by civil society and non-governmental organizations, and a committee had been established to revise this legislation. It was hoped that this law would be released soon. Alleviating circumstances related to violence were not applicable when the crime was committed against a woman.

Questions by Committee Experts

SÉBASTIEN TOUZE, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, commended the delegation for answering the majority of his questions directly. Mr. Touze expressed shock to hear about the difficulties that the State party faced regarding obsolete legislation. The harmonisation of legislation was an important task for the State party, and this work needed to be stepped up. Laws were not applied as they should be in the Gaza Strip, particularly regarding the death penalty and honour killings.

Mr. Touze said that he looked forward to reading the draft bills on torture and administrative detention, and he asked for a copy of this legislation. When did the State party expect to ratify this legislation?

Mr. Touze welcomed that confessions were not accepted when obtained through torture. Had investigations been opened when confessions were found to have been obtained through torture?

There were reprisals brought against the family of Nizar Banat, who spoke out against corruption within the Palestinian Authority and who died after being beaten up. The 14 agents who had beaten Mr. Banat had been released without charge. What was the delegation’s position on this case?

Of 28 complaints of torture, 14 were being considered in military courts. Why were these complaints not investigated in civil courts? Monetary compensation provided for victims was welcomed. Was health care and other support provided for victims of torture?

What was the number of persons in pre-trial detention, and the number of convicted detainees?

Mr. Touze called on the State party to allow the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture to assess its national prevention mechanism. Who provided training on preventing torture for State officials?

Mr. Touze also called for more information on the study currently underway of rehabilitation centres.

NAOKO MAEDA, Committee Expert and Country Co-Rapporteur, said that State courts decided on the necessity of states of emergency. On what grounds did they make these decisions?

Which body considered applications for asylum and acts of torture committed by asylum seekers?

Ms. Maeda called for the creation of a common core document on the State of Palestine. Were there any plans to create such a document?

She also called on the State party to accelerate the procedure of ratifying the draft family law.

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said that concerning the case of Nizar Banat, shortly after the incident, a commission of inquiry had been created. The State of Palestine was seeking to find out exactly what had happened in this case through the military judiciary.

The State of Palestine would consider the Committee’s observations regarding the national prevention mechanism. An open debate was underway within the Government and with international stakeholders on this mechanism. Security officers and police officers needed greater capacity to deal with torture and ill-treatment. The State party would ensure that the mechanism was in line with international standards.

The delegation was as confused as the Experts were regarding the laws that the State of Palestine had inherited. Many laws were obsolete and were not applicable to the modern State of Palestine. The State party was ratifying international treaties to be prioritised over these laws. Its goal was to prohibit torture. A new Penal Code was being developed, but there were still gaps that it needed to address. Also, the State of Palestine did not have a constitution yet. The State party was trying to overhaul its legislative system to not overburden the judiciary with legislation. It was working hard to harmonise legislation in cooperation with stakeholders. The State would do all it could to uphold the rule of law in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through the help of international organizations.

It was of paramount importance to establish a common core document to assist the work of the United Nations. A first draft of this document had been prepared and submitted to civil society for review. The State party hoped to publish this document as soon as possible.

The law on the Palestinian Police Corps stipulated that police officers should be tried in military courts. The Public Prosecutor’s Office was responsible for investigating complaints against police. When an official was found guilty of torture, all confessions collected by that individual were cancelled.

There were rehabilitation centres for victims of torture that provided treatment and health support.

Reports were issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office after visits of places of detention, and the Office followed up with the relevant authorities regarding the recommendations in those reports until the problems identified were resolved. In 2020, the Office carried out nine visits, having been affected by COVID-19. So far in 2022, 61 visits had been conducted.

Regarding the case of Nizar Banat, investigations were carried out in a professional and impartial manner. The 14 defendants faced up to 15 years imprisonment. Due process guarantees were granted to these defendants, and they had been released on bail, but were still participating in legal proceedings.

Sixty per cent of the citizens of the State of Palestine were refugees, and no refugees wished to settle in the State of Palestine. Thus, there was no body that assessed claims for asylum.

The delegation called on the Committee to pressure Israel to allow the Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture free access to the State of Palestine.

An international conference was planned for the end of the year on the State of Palestine’s commitment to the provisions of the Convention. At the conference, legislation on torture and the national prevention mechanism would be discussed.

Pre-trial detention could only be extended by a judge. Extensions were often related to serious crimes. The State party would consider revising practices related to pre-trial detention.

Concluding Remarks

CLAUDE HELLER, Committee Chair, thanked the delegation for participating in the dialogue, and highlighted the quality of the responses provided by the delegation. Mr. Heller expressed hope that the State of Palestine would submit its second report in more favourable domestic circumstances. He wished the State party every success in fulfilling its responsibilities under the Convention.

ZIYAD M. M. HABALREEH, Minister of Interior of the State of Palestine and head of the delegation, thanked the Committee for the frank dialogue. The responses of the delegation reflected the State of Palestine’s commitment to reviewing its performance and complying with its international obligations.

Torture was not a part of the culture of the State of Palestine. Systematic torture would open a pandora’s box of violence and hatred. The State party abhorred torture and would not allow it to happen. It was committed to protecting the well-being of its citizens. The State of Palestine was in an exceptional position, living under occupation by Israel. The occupation interfered with every aspect of life in the State of Palestine. However, the State party took responsibility for protecting the rights of its citizens. The observations of the Committee were profound, and the State party would work hard to implement the Committee’s recommendations.

 

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not an official record. English and French versions of our releases are different as they are the product of two separate coverage teams that work independently.

 

CAT22.012E