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A Police State without a State

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  • World View
    Tortured by Abbas s general intelligence for photographing torture
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2 11:51 AM
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      Tortured by Abbas's general intelligence for photographing torture
      http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/en/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MDI46m9rUxJEpMO%2bi1s7QmYCOyPP8%2f8flPa%2frETTqRvJb0eY5pPc7Jene3BLnXtm87N3S0qpndxEMJTNKYA7pSVaZtRDCfXyeP8xzHzGnPgwscE2eDWv%2fsUkWUVx4EQ%3d


      RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Abbas's general intelligence on Tuesday kidnapped a
      male nurse working in the Khaled hospital in Ramallah accusing him of
      photographing the torture marks on the body of Sheikh Majd
      al-Barghouthi who was tortured to death by the general intelligence.

      Informed sources told the PIC reporter that PA intelligence elements
      stormed the hospital and kidnapped Najeh Asi and assaulted hospital
      staff, adding that information leaked from the PA intelligence's
      prison confirmed that Asi is being subjected to excruciating torture
      more brutal than the torture inflicted on Sheikh Barghouthi.

      The sources appealed to the Palestinian factions, forces and human
      rights organizations to intervene quickly to save his life.

      ===

      A Police State without a State

      Signs of torture on Barghouthi's legs
      Comment by Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah


      A government that murders its political opponents, by way of torture
      or assassination, and then tries to cover up the crime, or mitigate
      its gravity, is a criminal government, pure and simple.

      As Palestinian citizens, we are worried that the Ramallah-based
      government is effectively becoming just another Arab police state, to
      be added to the other 22 other police states in the Arab world. But
      there is a very a conspicuous difference, because in our case, the
      Palestinian "state" is obviously a police state without a state.

      Two weeks ago, the Palestinian General Intelligence, also known as
      Mukhabarat, arrested, reportedly in a brutal manner, eight people from
      the village of Kober near Ramallah. Among the detainees was the imam
      of the local mosque, Majd al Barghouthi, 45, and father to eight
      children. The main charge leveled against him was related to a firearm
      he allegedly was hiding somewhere. Al-Barghouthi denied that he
      possessed or knew of any firearm.

      For eight successive days, al-Barghouthi was subjected to harsh
      physical torture, including severe beating, burns, sleep deprivation,
      and the so-called hooding technique, virtually the same types of
      torture employed by Israeli domestic intelligence apparatus, the Shin
      Beth, against Palestinian inmates.

      On Wednesday, 20 February, al-Barghouthi lost consciousness and was
      unceremoniously taken to a hospital in Ramallah. The treating doctor
      told the Mukhabarat agents that the man was in critical condition and
      that he needed urgent hospitalization.

      However, the Mukhabarat agents didn't heed the doctor's advice, and
      decided to take him back to the torture chamber.

      On Friday, 22 February, al Barghouthi died, reportedly during an
      extended torture session.

      According to inmates, who were being held in a neighboring chamber, he
      cried out for help for several hours to no avail, and then his voice
      got weaker and weaker, until he died.

      Following his death, Mukhabarat officials as well as some PA and Fatah
      spokespersons switched into the "damage-control mode," claiming that
      the man had been ill and that he had had a heart problem.

      His family and relatives have vehemently denied that he had had any
      serious health problems. They insist that their son was simply
      murdered by the ruthless Mukhabarat apparatus.

      This writer has had the opportunity to observe the body of the victim
      and can testify that the man had indeed been subjected to extremely
      savage and beating, strangulation, and administration of electrical burns.

      Dozens of physicians, journalists, lawmakers and ordinary people have
      seen with their own eyes the extent of the torture the victim had
      undergone.

      These are not allegations, but facts.

      Now, the ball is undoubtedly in Mahmoud Abbas's court. As President of
      the Palestinian Authority, he is legally and morally responsible for
      what happened.

      The Palestinian people expect him to behave and act, not like a head
      of the Fatah organization, but as President of all Palestinians. This
      is indeed the ultimate test of the credibility of Mr. Abbas, and if,
      God forbids, he fails this test, he won't be taken seriously ever after.

      This means that he must order a truly neutral and professional inquiry
      commission to look into what exactly happened and establish the truth
      within a reasonable period of time.

      The Palestinian people must be assured that there will be no foul-play
      and no whitewashing and no cover-up. After all, we are not a group of
      imbeciles and simpletons whom the so-called "government" can easily
      deceive and bamboozle. In the final analysis, the raison d'etre of any
      government is to serve the people, not kill them.

      Indeed, if it turns out that al-Barghouthi died as a result of
      torture, which is very likely, the PA chairman and his government must
      have the courage to address the Palestinian people and tell them the
      truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about what happened.

      And then, we, the people of Palestine, will expect his Excellency, to
      immediately fire the Head of the General Intelligence, Mr. Tawfiq al
      Tirawi, for violating the law which prohibits the practice of torture
      and for being instrumental to a homicide.

      We will also expect him to prosecute the person or persons directly
      and indirectly involved in the death of al-Barghouthi.

      But there are certain tasks Abbas doesn't have to wait for the results
      of the investigation to carry them out.

      President Abbas should immediately instruct all his security agencies
      to stop the employment of torture in their dungeons and interrogation
      chambers. It is really a disgrace that while we complain about the
      rampant use of torture by Israel, we ourselves are using it against
      our own people, against ourselves. Shame on us.

      More to the point, Abbas should issue a timely decree outlawing all
      political arrests, that is arresting people because of their political
      views. This decree should make it sufficiently clear to all these
      young and mostly uneducated or undereducated security cadres that they
      are not above the law and that they will be punished severely if they
      indulge in torture again.

      I know we can't possibly bring al-Barghouthi back to life. However,
      for the sake of his family and friends and the Palestinian people as a
      whole, we can prevent the recurrence of this crime. But this is only
      if we have the will to do what is right.

      Finally, a word to the European Union and other donors who are keeping
      the PA afloat.

      You are not completely innocent of this crime. You know well the men
      who may have killed the victim receive their salaries from you. You
      are their bankrollers.

      And I am sure that the European peoples you represent don't accept
      that their tax-payer money is used to effect serious human rights
      violations, including the right to life, of the Palestinian people.

      Hence, it is extremely important that you make all your financial aid
      to the PA conditional upon its observance of human rights in the
      occupied territories.

      I am not even alluding to the American role in this macabre quagmire
      in the West Bank for obvious reasons, for the US, which practices
      renditions and torture, is part of the problem.

      I am addressing the Europeans, especially the European parliament,
      because they still have a semblance of civility and decency.

      Hence, the hope that the EU will tell the Ramallah government to stop
      it now.

      *********************************************************************

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