“Ameer Makhoul [is]…a prisoner of conscience… [We] call for his immediate and unconditional release.”
–Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program
As the Israeli “justice” system prepares to indict Ameer Makhoul for imaginary grave crimes against the State, Amnesty International has adopted him as a prisoner of conscience and demanded his unconditional release. Ynet and Palestine Note confirm accounts of the abusive conditions under which he has been detained and interrogated by his Shin Bet inquisitors:
Israeli authorities have banned the release of information detailing alleged torture by security agents of jailed community organizer Ameer Makhoul.If true, the torture of Makhoul would be in violation of Israeli Supreme Court rulings and international treaties.
[His] legal team said they saw evidence of torture when they were first permitted to meet with their client a week ago, after he had been held for more than two weeks. They said Makhoul complained of pains and dizziness and said a doctor from the prison service had visited him.
Sources in the Adalah organization said that Makhoul, who had been probed for long hours without sleep, underwent torture and was interrogated while being tied to a chair. If the accusations are correct, authorities violated High Court of Justice instructions that forbid such probe tactics.
On Monday, Makhoul’s lawyers submitted a request to the court, asking that it allow the publication of a declaration written by Makhoul. The court did not respond to the request, the attorneys said.
Makhoul’s family also released a statement, We Accuse (modeled on Emile Zola’s defense of Dreyfuss, J’Accuse), which further describes the mental and physical abuse to which he has been subjected:
We know that Ameer has suffered and continues to suffer from acute pains in his head, his back and in both of his legs as a result of the severe torture he was subjected to, in breach of his most basic human rights. These include the rights to sleep, drink and eat, and the rights to dignity and not to be exposed to humiliating and degrading treatment. His complete isolation from the outside world, the control exercised over him by the GSS interrogators, and his interrogation for hours and days on end without sleep, while in shackles and bound by his hands and feet to a low chair in a way that did not allow him to move, causing him severe pain, from which he still continues to suffer now, all resulted in his losing his sense of time and ability to think and concentrate, and in his mental disorientation. These methods are illegal under Israeli and international law.
As we’ve reported here, the extent of his “crimes” as known thus far (despite a Shin Bet gag order which we’re gladly violating), he met with a Jordanian environmental activist, Hassan Jaja. Now comes word from Israeli media (not an exactly reliable source on such national security matters) that he also met with “Lebanese militia sources.” All of which should be taken with a grain of salt as Hassan Jaja, an Amman landscape designer and nurseryman, is one of the alleged “Hezbollah agents” with whom Makhoul met.
Read this breathless government propaganda passed along almost unfiltered from Jack Khoury, Haaretz’s stenographer:
Officials with intimate knowledge of the espionage investigation against an Israeli Arab head of a charity said yesterday that the case was one of the most serious ever against an Arab citizen since the founding of the state.
Who are these officials with so-called “intimate knowledge” of the investigation and what allows Khoury to make the judgment that their knowledge is well-founded or founded on anything more than their position as self-interested government officials? This is cowardly journalism not worthy of Haaretz or any reputable western newspaper. Apparently standards at Haaretz are slipping.
I put Jack Khoury, Haaretz, Ynet and any other source who accepts these claims at face value that we will hold their feet to the fire and when Makhoul is vindicated we will remind them of their overwillingess to cozy up to government sources and their refusal to do their job properly by probing deeper than the surface of things.