African Press International (API)

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Norwegian diplomats urge their government to investigate Israeli torture

Posted by African Press International on September 8, 2007

Diplomatic staff at Norway’s embassy in Tel Aviv is urging Foreign Ministry officials in Oslo to address claims of torture in Israeli prisons.

Raymond Johansen of Norway’s foreign ministry confirmed concerns about alleged torture in Israeli prisons.

PHOTO: JARL ERICHSEN

The Norwegian embassy staff is worried about how the Israelis treat Palestinian prisoners, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Thursday.

In a report stamped “secret” and sent to ministry officials back home, they’re asking ministry officials in Oslo to take up torture concerns with their Israeli counterparts. NRK obtained a copy of the report.

The embassy report is in turn based on two independent reports compiled by a organizations that have interviewed Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. The reports cite “severe pain” inflicted upon the prisoners through beatings during questioning.

The Israelis also are said to have used isolation, threats and humiliating strip searches to extract information from Palestinian prisoners viewed as being possible terrorists.

Raymond Johansen, state secretary in the Foreign Ministry, confirmed that the ministry has received a report from its embassy but that ministry staff as yet hasn’t taken up the issue with representatives from Israel.

He said Norwegian authorities do make efforts to halt torture and other inhumane treatment. “As recently as June, we expressed our concern over the arrests of Palestinian politicians… and said we were worried about conditions for Palestinian prisoners, including the use of torture,” he said.

The Israeli embassy in Oslo hasnt wanted to comment on the alleged torture, reported NRK.

Lifted and published by Korir, API.APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenposteneng/NTB

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