MASS ARRESTS AND POLICE BEATINGS

The report, 'Mass arrests and police brutality', based on the findings of an Amnesty International delegation which visited Jerusalem and northern Israel from 21-29 October, strongly criticises the procedures and treatment of those arrested (including Children's rights) over the past six weeks. Amnesty International researcher and member of the delegation, Joanna Oyediran, said:

'Palestinians, including Children's rights, were frequently arrested in their homes in the middle of the night in a highly intimidatory fashion.

'As a matter of routine, Children's rights were not summoned to the police station but arrested and, during interrogations, some Children's rights were reportedly subjected to psychological pressure by being shouted at, insulted or threatened - and in some cases reportedly beaten.'

The 15-page report includes the following cases:

· Iyad Qaymeri, aged 17, and three other Palestinians were among a group of young men and boys throwing stones in Shu'fat in East Jerusalem, when they were arrested at 9.30pm on 1 October. After reportedly being assaulted and insulted by five Israeli soldiers, they were taken to what appeared to be a military camp where they were hooded and forced to lie on the ground for about two hours; periodically someone would come and kick or hit them. The four were then taken to the Moscobiyyeh detention centre in Jerusalem. The night before Iyad Qaymeri's release on 5 October, police officers allegedly entered the cell and randomly beat the 30 Palestinians under 18 held there, whilst shouting insults at them.

· Yoav Bar, a computer programmer, described how after his arrest during an initially peaceful protest in Haifa on 2 October, he was dragged by the legs for more than 50 metres by two police officers while other police officers beat him with batons. He was beaten again in a police car. Yoram Bar Chaim, who protested at the treatment of Yoav Bar, was also arrested and beaten. They were both released at about midnight. Yoav Bar's left hand was broken in three places; two of his ribs were broken, and two of his front teeth were broken. His back was injured as a result of being dragged along the street.

Amnesty International welcomed the Israeli Government's announcement yesterday that it would set up a full judicial commission of inquiry under the 1968 Commission of Inquiry Act to investigate clashes with the security forces in which Arab and Jewish Israeli citizens were killed and wounded.

However, it insisted that it was essential that investigations should be thorough, effective and independent and that they should investigate incidents of torture or ill-treatment by security forces and make any report fully public.

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