With 15 people still in custody for allegedly torching a police car and stealing a weapon, there were several claims of the accused being subjected to harsh treatment including beatings. Their lawyer demanded that they immediately be submitted to medical examination to ascertain the reality of the situation, the Ministry of Interior refused initially, but under mounting pressure, ultimately agreed but only after about a month had passed after the initial allegations surfaced. They also required that the assigned doctors were government appointed. They refused – point blank – any doctor proposed by human rights societies.
Unfortunately for the Ministry of Interior, the doctors’ reports submitted to court yesterday unequivocally showed that some of the accused were in fact subjected to beatings and mistreatment.
“Not so!” the Ministry cried out, and demanded that the examining doctors should be brought in for cross examination.
Let me re-iterate my position once again: if an independent investigation and trial clearly shows that the accused did torch the police car and stole the gun and ammunition then they should be thrown in prison to serve whatever the court decides as a fit punishment for them.
However, that does not, ever, excuse the Ministry of Interior’s personnel for beating them or subjecting them to any form of mistreatment. They should have abided by normal and decent human rights codes by at least not forcibly extracting false confessions – sorry, there is no other explanation for using such barbaric methods.
Therefore, and regardless of their crime, this is a clear technical infringement on the accused’s rights and hence should immediately be released. The people who did the beatings should be thrown in jail instead.
This incident brings to mind a joke a friend of mine related to me recently, it deals with how Arab police – stereotypically – go about their business:
- On a police course conducted by an international police training institute, three Arab policemen trainees where told to go into the woods and catch a rabbit as part of survival skills development.
Off the trainees went to pursue their task, but the instructors got worried when several hours later their charges still did not report back. Going a short distance into the woods, they heard some shouts and thumps. Quickening their pace, they came upon a clearing with the three trainees surrounding something lying on the ground which was moaning with pain.
Alarmed at the situation, the trainers stealthily approached the scene furtively to try to discover what was going on, when all of a sudden, and amongst much mirth and laughter by their charges, they noticed that two of the trainees where holding down a bloodied and nearly dead dear while the third was kicking the shit out of it and shouting:
“confess that you are a rabbit, you bastard, CONFESS!”
Does that sound familiar? If there are no respect for human rights by the organ which should most apply them, there is absolutely no hope for justice.
This has brought shame, again, on the whole country and everybody in it. The accused have had their rights flouted and as such, no case should be brought against them, even if they are proven guilty.
The people who should be punished are those who beat them and infringed upon their charges’ basic human rights.