Never-Never Land

Just north of Metula, there is a hill in Israel that offers a breathtaking view of the northern Galilee, the upper Jordan valley and southern Lebanon. Also within view from this hill, about ten kilometers north of Metula — in what Israel calls its “security zone” and the Lebanese call territory occupied by Israel — is a well-defended stone building known as Khiam prison, the largest interrogation and torture installation in Lebanon. While the South Lebanon Army (SLA) directly manages the installation, it is but a subcontractor, an unskilled worker who takes orders directly from the big boss — the state of Israel.

Israeli Interrogation Methods: A View from Jalameh

In June 1996, Bashar Tarabieh, a resident of the US, visited his family in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. On August 19, three days before he was scheduled to return to the US, he was arrested at 2:15 am by Israeli security service and police agents. Charged with spying for Syria, burning down a local council building in 1993 and again in July 1996, Tarabieh was held in the interrogation section of Jalameh prison near Haifa. On August 26, through an agreement worked out among the judge, prosecutor and his lawyers, Lea Tsemel and Hassan Jabareen, Tarabieh was transferred to a hotel in Acre for 48 hours and then released. Since 1994, Tarabieh has worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch which actively publicized and protested his arrest.

The Torture of Huseyin Yildirim

Hüseyin Yildirim is a lawyer and a Kurd from eastern Turkey. In the fall of 1981, he was serving as defense counsel to members of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), many of whom had been arrested and subjected to torture by Turkey’s military junta. Yildirim himself was seized in October 1981, and was imprisoned in the Diyarbakir Military Prison from November 1981 until July 1982. He gave the following testimony to Amnesty International on November 3 and 4, 1982, in Sweden, where he now lives. According to Amnesty, a medical examination conducted on November 2, 1982, confirmed that Yildirim “shows signs of external violent injury…[which] may well have occurred as a result of the torture described by [him].”

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