14 Nov 2019
Israeli doctors must take a stand against torture

Today, the IRCT and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)in a joint letter, called on the Israeli Ministry of Health to ensure that hospital doctors follow their ethical obligations to avoid any involvement in torture by the Israeli security forces and document any signs that their patients have been tortured. 

Israeli doctors must take a stand against torture

Methods of torture in Israel. Images by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

On 27 September 2019, Mr Samer Arbeed was admitted to the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition following two days of exceptional interrogation by the Shin Bet. Despite clear signs of torture and ill-treatment, Mr Arbeed was subsequently transferred to a prison medical clinic where he is expected to undergo further interrogation by the Shin Bet. 

“The IRCT is deeply concerned that Mr Arbeed will be further tortured by the Shin Bet and we are appalled that the Hadassah hospital has not done more to protect its patient from further abuse and document what has already happened to him. These are clear obligations of all doctors according to international medical ethics and human rights standards”, said Asger Kjærum, IRCT Advocacy Director 

We expect the Israeli Ministry of Health to promptly investigate any involvement of doctors in the torture of Mr Arbeed and to ensure that in the future hospitals and doctors in Israel are aware of and implement their international ethical and human rights obligations to avoid any level of involvement in torture and to produce quality medical evidence of any sign of torture on their patients.  

Methods of torture in Israel. Images by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

Methods of torture in Israel. Images by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

“The IRCT is deeply concerned that Mr Arbeed will be further tortured by the Shin Bet and we are appalled that the Hadassah hospital has not done more to protect its patient from further abuse and document what has already happened to him. These are clear obligations of all doctors according to international medical ethics and human rights standards.”

- Asger Kjærum, IRCT Advocacy Director

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