The Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (TRC) was established in Ramallah, the administrative capital of Palestine, in the West Bank in 1997.
The West Bank and East Jerusalem areas of Palestine have been occupied by the Israeli armed forces since 1967. Since its establishment, TRC Palestine has treated over 26,000 survivors of torture and ill-treatment. 90 percent of its cases are Palestinians detained by Israeli security forces.
“One quarter of the Palestinian people have been imprisoned at least once in Israeli prisons and the vast majority of detainees are exposed to torture or to other ill-treatment,” said Khader Rasras, General Director, TRC Palestine. “This is a very large number of people who passed through this traumatic experience. So it’s very important to provide psychosocial support, medical support and psychiatric support to them so that they will be able to resume a normal life and be integrated into their own society.”
Israeli authorities say their security forces act in compliance with Israeli law. Torture for interrogation was legal in Israel until a Supreme Court ruling in 1999. Yet according to the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, the Israeli Security Agency Shin Bet continues to torture suspects using a legal loophole allowing for “physical interrogation” in exceptional circumstances.
“You know we are under occupation, we are exposed to traumas in our lives. I work in the Qalandia Camp which is a point of contact with the occupation. There are always arrests and frequent martyrdoms. There are raids in the schools and the streets,” said Rasha Fkhaidah, Psychologist, TRC Palestine. “I work with female detainees and with their children. I never thought that I could become a psychologist. But now when I help people, I am happier. When I see people happy, I am happy too.”
To learn more about TRC Palestine please visit http://english.trc-pal.org/AboutUs or follow @TRC_Palestine