For English, please see below.

Mange palæstinensiske børn må dagligt, når de er på vej til skole, gå igennem militære checkpoints og passere andre områder med militær tilstedeværelse – og dette med risiko for at blive tilbageholdt eller arresteret af bevæbnede israelske soldater.

Det er dog ikke det eneste tidspunkt, børn som voksne kan blive arresteret af Israelske sikkerhedsstyrker – ifølge organisationen Military Court Watch, bliver over halvdelen af børnene arresteret om natten. En arrestation foretaget af soldater med maskingeværer, der taler et andet sprog end én selv er for de fleste børn – såvel som for voksne – en skræmmende oplevelse, særligt hvis det foregår om natten. Derfor anbefalede UNICEF allerede tilbage i 2013, at alle anholdelser af børn skal udføres i dagslys uanset hvilken situation, der måtte være tale om.

Dertil kommer, at langt de fleste bliver udsat for en eller anden form for fysisk vold og bliver enten verbalt misbrugt, intimideret eller ydmyget. Baseret på 137 skriftlige vidnesbyrd fra børn, der i 2017 blev tilbageholdt og retsforfulgt under de israelske militærdomstoles jurisdiktion, rapporterede 74,5%, at de havde været udsat for en form for fysisk vold efter anholdelse og 62%, at de var blevet mishandlet, intimideret eller ydmyget. Ud af de 137 var 26 børn isolationsfængslet i en gennemsnitlig periode på 12 dage. Den længste isolationsperiode for et barn, som Defense for Children International Palestine dokumenterede i 2017, var på 23 dage.

Vilkårlig anholdelse og tilbageholdelse er ulovligt i henhold til artikel 9 i FN’s Menneskerettighedserklæring. Desuden slår artikel 37 i Børnekonventionen fast, at stater bl.a. skal sikre, at “[i]ntet barn ulovligt eller vilkårligt berøves sin frihed. Anholdelse, tilbageholdelse eller fængsling af et barn skal følge lovens forskrifter og må kun bruges som en sidste udvej og for det kortest mulige passende tidsrum”. Desuden har ethvert barn, der er berøvet sin frihed, “ret til hurtig juridisk og anden passende bistand samt ret til at få lovligheden af sin frihedsberøvelse prøvet ved en domstol eller anden kompetent, uafhængig og upartisk myndighed og til hurtig afgørelse af enhver sådan sag.”

FN’s kommitté mod tortur forbyder desuden på det strengeste, at børn bliver anbragt i isolation på grund af den skadelige indvirkning det kan have på børn som voksnes psykiske velbefindende.

Allerede i 2013 konkluderede UNICEF, at “mishandling af børn, der kommer i kontakt med det  militære tilbageholdelses-system, synes at være udbredt, systematisk og institutionaliseret i hele processen.” Israelske børn, herunder dem, der bor i illegale bosættelser på Vestbredden, er langt bedre beskyttet under israelsk civilret end palæstinensiske børn er under den militærlovgivning, der gælder for palæstinensere i de besatte områder.

Mellem februar og november 2017 lød det månedlige gennemsnit for palæstinensiske mindreårige i det israelske fængselssystem på 310 for “sikkerheds-forbrydelser”, ifølge data fra Israels fængsels-enhed, Israel Prison Service. Et flertal af palæstinensiske mindreårige beretter fortsat, at de ved afslutningen af forhør bliver vist eller tvunget til at underskrive en form for dokumentation skrevet på hebraisk – som de ikke forstår. Den mest almindelige anklage er stenkastning – og over 99% af sagerne i militærdomstole slutter med domfældelse.

Israels tilbageholdelse og fængsling af mindreårige er for nyligt kommet i fokus efter Ahed Tamimi, en palæstinensisk teenager blev fængslet i otte måneder for at slå en israelsk soldat. Den medieomtale og opmærksomhed som Tamimi har opnået er imidlertid unik – for der er desværre hundredvis af andre teenagere, der har oplevet dét, som Tamimi har i kontakten med de israelske myndigheder.

Fra og med august 2018 sidder der ifølge menneskerettighedsorganisationen Adameer 270 palæstinensiske børn i israelske fængsler – hvoraf 50 er under 16 år gamle.

Kilder:

  1. “Factsheet”, Military Court Watch, tilgængelig her.
  2. “FN’s verdenserklæring om menneskerettighederne (1948)”, Amnesty, tilgængelig her.
  3. “FN’s børnekonvention”, Børnerådet, tilgængelig her.
  4. “Year-in-Review: Worst Abuses Against Palestinian Children in 2017”, Defense for Children International Palestine, available here.
  5. “Azzoun: The Palestinian village filling Israeli jails with children”, Middle East Eye, 10 August 2018, available here.
  6. “Statistics August 2018”, Adameer, Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, available here.

 

 

Even as my children are arrested and detained for no reason

 

On their way to school, many Palestinian children either have to pass areas with military presence or go through military checkpoints. On a daily basis, they are thus at risk of being detained or arrested by armed Israeli soldiers. It is however not the only time that children, as well as adults, are likely to be arrested by Israeli security forces – according to Military Court Watch, more than half of the children are arrested at night. An arrest by soldiers with machine guns who speak a foreign language will for most children – as well as adults – be a scary experience, especially when it takes place in the middle of the night. For this reason, already back in 2013, UNICEF recommended that all arrests of children should be conducted during daylight, notwithstanding exceptional and grave situations.

Children within the Israeli military system commonly report physical and verbal abuse from the moment of their arrest and coercion and threats during interrogations. Based on affidavits from 137 West Bank children detained and prosecuted under the jurisdiction of Israeli military courts in 2017, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) showed that 74.5 % had endured some form of physical violence following arrest and 62 % had been either verbally abused, intimidated, or humiliated. Another 26 were held in solitary confinement for an average period of 12 days. The longest period of isolation for a child that DCIP documented in 2017 was 23 days.

According to Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child also prescribes that arbitrary arrest and detention of children is illegal. Specifically, it declares that “[n]o child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time” and [e]very child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.”

Moreover, the United Nations Committee against Torture strictly forbids children from being placed in solitary confinement due to the detrimental impact on psychological well-being.

Already in 2013, UNICEF concluded that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process.”

Israeli children, including those living in West Bank settlements, have far more rights and protections under civilian law than Palestinian children under military law.

Between February and November 2017, an average of 310 Palestinian children were in the Israeli prison system each month for “security offences,” according to Israel Prison Service (IPS) data. The most common charge is stone-throwing – and over 99 % of cases in the military courts end in conviction. At the conclusion of interrogations, a majority of Palestinian minors continue to report being shown or made to sign, some sort of documentation written in Hebrew – which they don’t understand.

Israel’s detention of minors has been highlighted recently by the case of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenager jailed for eight months for slapping an Israeli soldier. Yet Tamimi’s case is unique in its media attention – there are hundreds of other teenagers, who have experienced the exact same as Tamimi when in Israeli custody.

As of August 2018, Addameer, a human rights organization reports that there are, 270 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons – 50 of which are under the age of 16.

Sources:

  1. “Factsheet”, Military Court Watch, available here.
  2. “Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations”, UNICEF, February 2013, available here.
  3. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, United Nations, available here.
  4. “Convention on the Rights of the Child”, Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, available here.
  5. “Year-in-Review: Worst Abuses Against Palestinian Children in 2017”, Defense for Children International Palestine, available here.
  6. “Azzoun: The Palestinian village filling Israeli jails with children”, Middle East Eye, 10 August 2018, available here.
  7. “Statistics August 2018”, Adameer, Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, available here.