New Israeli Knesset Bill Seeks to Keep Interrogation Secret

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
23 November 2016

Israeli  Knesset has preliminarily approved a bill in a first reading on 14 November 2016 that would exempt Israeli intelligence and police from filming or recording interrogations sessions of suspected “terrorists”. Israeli government officials stated the move was taken to counter terrorism given the current unstable situation. Currently, all interrogation sessions in Israel must be recorded, but the Knesset suspended the law for security-related cases a couple of years ago. The new bill aims to turn the temporary legislation into a permanent law, exempting the intelligence and the police from having to record the interrogation sessions.

Addameer considers the decision one that would enable torture and obstruct accountability of perpetrators. The Israeli Knesset bill, if approved, will directly contravene the Committee Against Torture’s recommendation to Israeli authorities on 13 May 2016, where the Committee recommended that Israel “ensure the compulsory audio-visual recording” of all suspects’ interrogations … and that “Audio-visual footage should be monitored by an independent body and kept for a period sufficient for it to be used as evidence in courts.” (para. 18, 19)