850 Shin Bet torture complaints yield no investigations

A document submitted by the state to the High Court of Justice this week showed that the number of torture complaints lodged against Israel’s domestic intelligence agency has grown fourfold since 2012.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Public Committee Against Torture filed the petition two years ago to the Ministry of Justice .The petition demanded the detainee’s claims be investigated to determine if criminal charges should be filed against his interrogators.

The two organizations turned to the High Court of Justice after a year-and-a-half elapsed during which they did not receive a response from the Justice Ministry.

The state responded to the petition this week. In the response, it emerged that twice as many detainees complained of torture in 2014 than in 2013, which saw twice as many complaints than 2012. The organization said that there is no active law and system by which complaints against Israeli security forces can be submitted.

Attorney Adi Lustigman, who is representing the petitioner, said that even the preliminary stages of looking into torture claims drag on for years, and rarely result in legal action. As a result, interrogators are de facto immune to the law.

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