Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Israeli soldiers allegedly submit children to sex abuse

An international children's rights group has said it has evidence that Palestinian children held in Israeli custody have been subjected to sexual abuse.

The Geneva-based Defence for Children International has collected affadavits from over one hundred Palestinian children to say that efforts to extract confessions from them came with threats of rape and other abuses.

The mistreatment has been condemned by DCI officials who have said previous complaints about the alleged abuse to Israeli authorities have not been heeded or dismissed as untrue.

The organisation has now submitted its evidence to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture to try to get Israel to stamp out the alleged abuse.

Al Jazeera has managed to interview some of the children, who have confirmed mistreatment by their Israeli captors.

Some of the children who were interviewed said they had been sexually abused or threatened with sexual assault to pressure them into confessions.

All Palestinians, minors and adults, are tried in Israeli military courts.

Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 16 are tried as children but from 16 years onwards, they are tried as adults.

There are currently 340 Palestinian children in Israeli jails, mostly convicted of throwing stones, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 20 years.

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