Detainee Samer Arbeed Transferred to al-Ramleh Prison Clinic and The Gag Order Renewed for the Second Time

Addameer’s lawyer was informed today, the 7 October 2019, that Samer Arbeed was transferred from Hadassah hospital, to al-Ramla prison clinic. Addameer’s lawyer was informed of his transfer this morning while trying to visit Samer. The lawyer was only able to see Samer for a few minutes, to inform him of his imminent transfer. Addameer is very concerned about this transfer as conditions for patients in the prison clinic are known to be insufficient. This is even more important as Samer has not yet fully recovered from his injuries due to torture. Indeed, Samer continues to suffer from pain and swelling from all over his body, as eleven of his ribs were fractured. He is still unable to move his legs. There has been an improvement in his kidney function, however, Samer still suffers from pneumonia. It is worth noting that few weeks ago, Samer’s prison guard used tear gas against him, while he was lying in his hospital bed.

A Court decision ruled that Addameer should receive Samer’s medical report today, however, our lawyer faced difficulties when trying to get it. And because of Samer’s transfer, the report was not provided to the lawyer.

The gag order, which has prevented Addameer from publishing any information on a number of detainees currently under interrogation, was renewed today. It was firstly issued on the 10 September 2019, and has been renewed twice, until the 7 December 2019. The hearing was a one-sided court session, only held with one party, while the detainees’ legal representatives were not present. It should be noted that the defense team was also excluded from the two previous court proceedings. However, despite the gag order, Israeli sources including press and organizations have continuously published information to the public about the cases, while Addameer, the legal representative of the detainees, is unable to publish any information on the matter. This inconsistent enforcement of the gag order can only be understood as a way to influence public opinion.

Addameer expresses serious concern for the well-being and health of the detainees mentioned in the gag order, some of whom have been detained since late August, and as most of them have been banned from counsel with their lawyers. Addameer is definite that these detainees were tortured and ill-treated. Torture might still be happening today. Torture is broadly used in Israeli occupation interrogation centers as a way to coerce the detainees into self-incrimination through the extraction of confessions. Israeli occupation military Courts accept confessions which were obtained under torture, and have an almost 100% conviction rate.  In 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court allowed the use of exceptional practices in the case of a “ticking bomb” scenario. This legal loophole in the prohibition on torture is a complete violation of Israel’s obligation under international law, notably the convention against torture, which Israel ratified in 1991.[1]