Amnesty International Head Warns Israel on Use of Torture

The head of the human rights group Amnesty International has warned Israel about the legalization of what he described as torture used by Israeli security agents when interrogating suspected terrorists.

Pierre Sane, Amnesty’s secretary general, brought his concerns before Justice Minister David Liba’i during a visit last week to Israel.

Sane’s warning comes as Israel plans to establish formal guidelines for interrogation procedures carried out by the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service.

The proposed guidelines include a clause allowing for the use of moderate physical pressure, including violent shaking, when Shin Bet agents interrogate suspected terrorists.

The Shin Bet guidelines “raise many issues, which we have just really started to address,” Sane told reporters.

Sane’s visit, which included a trip to Palestinian self-rule areas, was aimed at ensuring that human rights are respected by both Israel and the Palestinians as the peace process advances.

The nonpartisan organization also called on Israel to stop the practice of administrative detention and to ensure that all trials are carried out fairly.

Amnesty called on the Palestinian Authority to stop using what it said was torture during interrogations, and to stop making what it described as arbitrary political arrests in the autonomous areas.

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