Suspicion of Collective Punishment and Torture in Ketziot Prison
ACRI appealed to the the Commissioner of the Israel Prison Service (IPS) and the heads of the Unit for the Investigation of Wardens and the Department for the Investigation of Police demanding an investigation into the events of March 24, 2019 in Ketziot Prison.
From media coverage and our own independent investigation, we found that after the stabbing of two prison guards, large special forces of the IPS and the police stormed the prison, and over the course of several hours exerted heavy force on the security prisoners, resulting in dozens of prisoners injured. The violence continued long after the prisoners who committed the stabbings were detained. Afterwards, dozens of prisoners were held captive in the prison yard for 36 hours while handcuffed in pairs and denied access to water, food, and bathrooms.
ACRI Attorney Tal Hassin wrote in the appeal that there is concern that the prolonged and disproportionate use of force, hours after order and quiet returned to the jail, constitutes unacceptable collective punishment of all security prisoners in the department, and thus requires a speedy and exhaustive investigation. “It is clear that in dealing with the stabbing incident and the threat to the lives and security of the guards that there must be significant measures taken," wrote Atty. Hassin, “but even a serious incident cannot justify a serious deviation from basic considerations of lawful use of force and authority.”