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October 07, 1994 - Image 146

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-10-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

TORTURE page 117

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An official cleared
the Shabak of the
torture allegations.

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358-2211

US-TOO CHAPTER OF SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN

in front of the Shabak's head-
quarters in Jerusalem.
From the other end of the po-
litical spectrum, the Association
for Civil Rights in Israel and the
Public Committee Against Tor-
ture, long champions of hapless
Palestinian detainees, now
protested the alleged mistreat-
ment of Jews. And overnight the
issue, debated heatedly in the
media, had changed from the
threat to innocent Palestinians
to the rights of imprisoned Is-
raelis.
Soon the entire political es-
tablishment was embroiled in vol-
leys of charges (that the Shabak
was being used to "persecute po-
litical opponents"), counter-
charges (that the opposition was
smearing interrogators), and in-
vestigations. A Justice Ministry
official, appointed to look into
Lieutenant Edri's complaints,
cleared the Shabak of the torture
allegations but strongly criticized
the physical conditions in its fa-
cilities, as did State Attorney
Dorit Beinisch.
Crusading State Comptroller
Miriam Ben-Porat announced

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that she would soon issue her
own report on Shabak interroga-
tions. And the Knesset debated
the affair, with police Minister
Moshe Shahal hoping, in vain, to
lay the issue to rest by calling the
torture charge "a base accusa-
tion" intended "to shift public at-
tention from those suspected of
grave acts to the people investi-
gating them."
It certainly did that — and not
just regarding the Shabak. Last
Friday, state-run television
broadcast a bombshell interview
with a former police officer who,
protected by a ski mask and the
statute of limitations law, told of
participating 17 years before in
such interrogation tactics as uri-
nating on suspects and torturing
them.
Interviewed immediately af-
terward, Justice Minister David
Liba'i was visibly shaken by the
revelations, though he also
warned against a wholesale dis-
crediting of the state's law en-
forcement agencies. Prompted by
the growing uproar, on Sunday
the government released a state-
ment giving "full support to the
Israel Police and the Shabak."
For close to a decade, since the
infamous "300 Bus Affair" — in
which Shabak agents killed two
Palestinian terrorists in their cus-
tody, then tried to perpetrate an
elaborate cover-up — the service
has been highly vulnerable to
charges of torture. Yet for the

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