Independent Experts Review Israel’s Compliance with UN Convention

August 6th, 2010 | Posted in Palestine, Prisoners
    Defence for Children International – DCI Palestine – July 30, 2010


    Photo Palestinian child in Gaza collects water.

On 29 July 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee (the Committee) issued Concluding Observations after reviewing the State of Israel’s compliance with the Convention on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) earlier this month. Compliance by parties to the Convention is reviewed every four years by the Committee, which consists of 18 independent and internationally recognised experts. During its 99th Session in July, the Committee also considered compliance with the Convention by three other states under the periodic review process.

The Committee received written and oral submissions from officials from the Israeli ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, as well as from non-governmental organisations during the review of Israel’s Third Periodic Report on 13 and 14 July 2010. In its Concluding Observations and recommendations to Israel’s report, the Committee:


* Confirmed the applicability of the UN human rights conventions, including the CCPR, to Occupied Palestinian Territory (West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) and to the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights (paragraph 5).

* Recommends that Israel, in addition to the investigations already underway, conducts credible and independent investigations into the serious violations of international human rights law during ‘Operation Cast Lead’, and all decision makers, be they military or civilian, be investigated and where relevant, prosecuted and sanctioned (paragraph 9).

Torture and ill-treatment

* Expressed concern at consistent allegations of the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in particular against Palestinian detainees suspected of security-related offences (paragraph 10).

* Expressed concern at allegations of complicity or acquiescence of medical personnel with the interrogators (paragraph 10).

* Expressed concern at information that all complaints of torture are either denied factually, or justified under the ‘defence of necessity’ as ‘ticking bomb’ cases (paragraph 10).

* Recommends that all cases of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are thoroughly investigated by an independent authority and that those found guilty are punished with sentences that are commensurate with the gravity of the offence, and that compensation is provided to the victims or their families (paragraph 12).

Administrative detention

* Recommends that Israel refrains from using administrative detention, in particular for children, and ensure that detainees’ rights to fair trial are upheld at all times (paragraph 7).


* Israel should refrain from holding criminal proceedings against children in military courts (paragraph 22).

* Ensure that children are only detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time period (paragraph 22).

* Recommends that parents or close relatives are informed where the child is being detained and provide the child with prompt access to free and independent legal assistance of its own choosing (paragraph 22).

* Expressed concern that children can be detained for up to eight days before being brought before a military judge (paragraph 22).

* Expressed concern that children are interrogated in the absence of parents or close relatives and a lawyer, and they are not audio-visually recorded. The Committee recommends a guaranteed right that all proceedings involving children are audio-visually recorded (paragraph 22).

* Expressed concern that children of the age of 16 are tried as adults in the military courts, and recommends that children not be tried as adults (paragraph 22).

* Expressed concern that children are not informed promptly, in a language they understand, of the charges against them (paragraph 22).

* The Committee is ‘very concerned’ at allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of children and recommends that reports of torture and ill-treatment of detained children are investigated promptly by an independent body (paragraph 22).

* Recommends that all trials are conducted in a prompt and impartial manner, in accordance with fair trial standards (paragraph 22).

The Committee has also requested Israel to report in 12 months time on the implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 8 (blockade of Gaza), 11 (torture), 22 (children) and 24 (forced evictions of Bedouin).

DCI-Palestine remains concerned at widespread and consistent reports of ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children in the Israeli military court system which the organisation is receiving on a weekly basis, and will continue to recommend that all interrogations of children be conducted in the presence of a family member, lawyer and be audio-visually recorded.

download concluding observations from UN Human Rights Committee (the Committee)

Leave a comment

Upcoming events