Amnesty International Told About Torture of Israeli War Prisoners

The Israeli delegation at the Amnesty International convention here accused Egypt and Syria of torturing and killing Israeli prisoners taken in the Yom Kippur War and requested Red Cross inspection visits of Arab prisoner of war camps. The Israeli delegates made their charges last night during a news conference outside the Amnesty International meeting site. Amnesty International officials said the delegates were speaking on their own behalf and not in their capacity as convention delegates.

The three delegates, who held their conference in nearby Arab-owned cafe, distributed photographs and documents furnished by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as evidence that Egypt and Syria “assassinated and tortured captured Israeli soldiers.” The spokesman for the group, Zev Zeltner, a Jaffa magistrate, said Egyptian troops “shot right into groups of Israeli prisoners, tortured just about all of them, beat up the wounded, hitting them on their wounds and refused to give them food or drink.” He. asked Amnesty International to publicly condemn such acts.

The Israeli delegates to the convention said they were asking for Red Cross inspection tours to examine treatment given Israeli soldiers still held captive. They said they wanted a “Black Book” compiled to include the names of officials authorizing the use of torture “so that their descendents, their children and their grandchildren will know they did such a thing,” Zeltner reported.

He said advancing Israeli troops came upon at least 28 bodies of blindfolded and bound Israeli prisoners who had been summarily shot by their captors. Eddy Kaufman, another delegate, said his group wanted Amnesty International to press Syrian officials to release the names of Israeli POWs held in Syria. Zeltner said the Syrians were withholding the names of prisoners “out of sheer sadism.”

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