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Demonstration of Kfar Duma interrogation torture methods

Thursday, June 7, 2018, 12:34 On the afternoon of Thursday, June 7, a presentation of the various torture methods which GSS interrogators described in testimony given in court was exhibited in Tel Aviv. The methods were demonstrated on passersby who accepted invitations from Otzma Yehudit activists to try them out. Otzma Yehudit activists, who wore signs on their backs with the names of what the GSS interrogators had called themselves when they tortured youths during the interrogations, demonstrated how suspects in the Kfar Duma case were tortured during the interrogations. The entire presentation was based on testimonies from GSS interrogators who testified during the trial within a trial, which is still on-going at the Central District Court in Lod. Tzvi Sukkot, the director of Otzma Yehudit, stated that “We arrived here today in order to demonstrate what was done in the GSS interrogation rooms. We invited people off the street and tried out on them what the GSS interrogators described that they had done to the detainees interrogated in the Kfar Duma case. Everyone from the street on whom we tried this, without exception, admitted to whatever we asked them. “We assert that the confessions given during the Kfar Duma trial are not reliable for any purpose. We demand that a committee be founded to investigate what happened in Kfar Duma and also what happened in the GSS interrogation rooms.” Earlier this week [June 5] dozens of dozens prominent rabbis, including community rabbis and heads of yeshiva, signed a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, demanding that the legal proceedings in the Kfar Duma case be stopped and that an investigative committee be founded. The grounds for the demand are the torture which the defendants in the case underwent in order to extract from them forced confessions. Excerpt of the letter, translation by Honenu: “Prime Minister, Justice Minister… In light of the shocking information concerning the torture of youths in order to extract from them confessions of their involvement with the Kfar Duma incident, and the severe indictments filed against them based on those confessions, we demand that the legal proceedings against them cease immediately, and that an independent investigative committee be founded in order to examine these grave accusations.” On April 16, the families of the defendants in the Kfar Duma case revealed that during the closing statements stage of the first segment of the trial, which took place on March 15, the Central District Attorney’s office announced in an unprecedented step that they would withdraw from use several of the defendants’ confessions. The confessions were given during interrogations in which “special means”, a euphemism referring to torture, were used on the defendants. A source in the legal system well acquainted with the case explained that “The meaning of the announcement by the Central District Attorney’s office to the court, is the understanding that in light of the circumstances under which the confessions were given by the defendants, it is impossible to render them judicially valid. This is an upheaval. The Attorney General’s office is essentially standing opposite the court and admitting that in this case interrogations were conducted that brought the defendants to make statements and confessions that were not out of free will, as is mandatory by law.” The Attorney General’s office also submitted a request to the court to recognize the torture used during interrogation as legal.

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