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Public Committee Against Torture v. State of Israel

Israel Supreme Court
 H.C. 5100/94 (Sept. 6, 1999)


Facts

Israeli government (defendant) authorities issued “directives” authorizing its General Security Service (GSS), the agency responsible for investigating individuals suspected of committing crimes against Israel’s security, to employ physical means against those undergoing interrogation. GSS investigators were authorized to “shake” a suspect, utilize sleep deprivation, and could force a suspect to sit or stand in a painful position. Investigators were instructed to weigh the severity and urgency of a pending terrorist attack that the interrogation was intended to prevent and to seek alternative measures, if any. The GSS argued that such methods helped to thwart several imminent attacks. The Public Committee Against Torture (PCAT) represented suspects arrested and interrogated by the GSS and petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court for an order prohibiting the use of these physical means.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Barak, J.)

Concurrence (J’Kedmi, J.)

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