Today dawn, 22 February 2018, Yassin al-Saradih from Jericho died after only hours of being arrested by Israeli forces. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls for immediate and impartial investigation into the circumstances of his death. PCHR is concerned that the Israeli forces might practice torture against him immediately upon his arrest and this would be the reason behind his death.
According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 04:30 on Thursday, 22 February 2018, Israeli forces moved into Jericho. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khamis Hattab in the center of the city after breaking down the main house door in addition to damaging some of the house contents. His nephew, Yassin ‘Omer al-Saradih (33) headed to the house to figure out what was going on. However, immediately, a number of Israeli soldiers severely beat him up throughout his body and then fired a tear gas canister on the spot. They then pulled him on the ground to a military vehicle and later to an unknown destination. At approximately 09:30 on the same day, the family received a phone call from the Palestinian Military Liaison telling then that the Israeli Liaison informed them of the death of their son due to suffering gas inhalation and seizures. A video captured by a surveillance camera showed 6 Israeli soldiers attacking the abovementioned civilian and brutally beating him up using their riffles’ butts and feet.
His family said to PCHR’s fieldworker that their son had not suffered from any disease before his arrest. It should be mentioned that the Israeli authorities detain the corpse and have not so far handed it to the family or the Palestinian competent authorities.
PCHR emphasizes that during their arrest, Palestinian civilians are subject to severe beating, physical and psychological torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment. Thus, PCHR:
- Calls for an impartial and immediate investigation into the death circumstance of al-Saradih in light of suspicions that the beating he was exposed to caused his death;
- Calls upon the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to increase the effectiveness of its follow-up of the Palestinian and Arab prisoners’ conditions in the Israeli prisons and their detention conditions; and
- Calls upon the international community to force Israel to respect the rules of the international law and international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, and comply with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.