CHILD DETENTION: In their own Words - Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military courts

Summary: Each year, approximately 700 Palestinian children as young as 12 years are arrested,interrogated and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. Credible reports of ill-treatment and torture within the system are common and persistent.

It is estimated that since 2000 alone, around 7,000 Palestinian children have been detained and prosecuted in the system. This Report focuses on persistent and credible reports of torture and ill-treatment within a system that has now been operating for 43 years.

In the Israeli military court system, children are frequently arrested from their homes by heavily armed soldiers in the middle of the night and are painfully tied and blindfolded before being placed in the back of a military vehicle and transferred to an interrogation and detention centre. It is rare for a child, or his/her parents to be told the reason for arrest, or where the child is being taken. The arrest and transfer process is frequently accompanied by physical and verbal abuse.

Reports of torture and ill-treatment in the Israeli military court system are not new and have been well publicised for many years. What is perhaps most disturbing however, is that the pattern of torture and ill-treatment indicates that the practice is widespread, systematic and institutionalised within the system, and against which, childhood affords little or no protection.


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