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Israel Charges Amnesty International Report Was Issued in Bad Faith

Israel has denounced a report by Amnesty International claiming brutality to people arrested on suspicion of security offenses in the West Bank and the Goza Strip. Israel also rejected Amnesty’s call for an impartial and public inquiry into complaints of brutality. The Israel embassy here accused Amnesty of a breach of faith by publishing its 74-page report with accusations against Israel without waiting for a detailed reply.

The official Israeli reply, from Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir, published as part of the report, defended the continuation of Israeli military rule in the administered territories and the security procedures. It drew attention to many terrorist atrocities against innocent civilians and said: “In these circumstances the question of human rights takes on a very different complexion.”

Amnesty urged Israel to change its security procedures immediately to bar the ill treatment of suspects and said Israel had not been able to refute persistent complaints of brutality. But Amnesty admitted that it is unable to establish the veracity of many accusations of torture.

In its report, released yesterday, Amnesty urged the Israel government to permit relatives, lawyers and independent doctors to have prompt and regular access to security suspects as an immediate way of protecting them against ill treatment. Responding to Zamir, Amnesty commented that basic human rights do not change with circumstances. “They are irreducible and they include freedom from torture, and from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

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