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Shofar FTP Archive File: places/israel/press/Supreme_Court_bans_torture


Israel Court Bars Torture Methods 
  
By MARK LAVIE / Associated Press Writer 
  
JERUSALEM (AP) Setting a landmark in Israel's decades-old conflict
between democracy and security, between respecting human rights and
protecting citizens from terrorism, the Supreme Court on Monday banned
the use of torture in interrogations.

The ruling came just one day after two car bombs went off, just the
latest of dozens of attacks that have killed hundreds of Israeli
civilians in recent years. Shin Bet security agents will no longer be
allowed to tie Palestinian suspects with their hands behind their
backs to a rail under an air conditioner in the middle of winter. They
will no longer be able to grab suspects from behind and shake them
violently, a practice that led to the death of at least one
Palestinian. They will no longer be permitted to force Palestinians
into the dreaded ``shabeh'' position, bent backward over chairs, hands
and legs shackled beneath, or be allowed to put a putrid, choking hood
over their heads.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that he respected the
court's decision but that ``it seems as though the decision will make
things very difficult for the Shin Bet, and, in order to save lives,
we need to find a way'' to extract information from a suspect about an
impending attack.

Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein suggested legislation outlining
how far the Shin Bet could go in interrogations, but human rights
activists said the Supreme Court would likely overrule any law that
attempted to circumvent Monday's ruling, which came after a decade of
hearings.

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