Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nearly 100% conviction rate against Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli military occupation courts

Dear friends,
Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, has published a report revealing that Israeli military courts have an almost 100% conviction rate against Palestinians.  I highly recommend that this article be read in conjunction with my previous post, Stone Cold Justice, about Palestinian child political prisoners, as it confirms many of the observations made by John Lyons in his article.

In a comment piece on the Haaretz article and the IOF internal reported cited by Haaretz, Noam Sheizaf on  +972 magazine notes:  "Unlike Jews, Palestinians under Israeli control in the West Bank are tried in military courts, where the rights of defendants rights are minimal, and the prosecution enjoys a low burden of proof and – most importantly – wears the same uniforms as the judges – IDF uniforms. In a military court, the testimony of a soldier who arrested a Palestinian can be enough to send a minor to prison. The results are staggering: Palestinians have no chance to walk free from an Israeli trial".

Sheizaf goes onto point out that this conviction rate is constant, with little change in figures on conviction rates between 2006 and 2011.  For his full commentary and links to other articles and information on Palestinian prisoners, please click here.

Please feel free to share these two very important article with your networks.
In solidarity, Kim


  • Published Haaretz: 29.11.11

  • Nearly 100% of all military court cases in West Bank end in conviction, Haaretz learns

    Report shows the military appeals courts decidedly favor the prosecution, with judges accepting 67 percent of prosecution appeals, as opposed to only 33 percent of appeals filed by the defense.

    By Chaim Levinson Tags: Palestinians IDF

    Virtually all - 99.74 percent, to be exact - of cases heard by the military courts in the territories end in a conviction, according to data in the military courts' annual report, which has been obtained by Haaretz.

    The report also shows that the military appeals courts decidedly favor the prosecution, with appeals court judges accepting 67 percent of appeals filed by the prosecution, as opposed to only 33 percent of appeals filed by the defense.
    The military courts, headed by Col. Aharon Mishnayot, deal with all criminal and security cases involving Palestinians, from their detention through their appeals. Only very exceptional, usually symbolic cases are heard by Israeli courts.

    The military court system also includes committees that hear appeals against decisions by Israel Defense Forces commanders, committees that approve administrative detentions, and a committee that approves expulsion orders.
    According to the report, 9,542 cases were wrapped up in 2010, of which 2,016 involved hostile terror activity, 763 disorderly conduct and the rest Palestinians staying illegally in Israel, traffic offenses and criminal activity.

    The report states that 25 cases ended in full acquittal, meaning that the conviction rate is 99.74 percent. But 4 percent of the cases result in at least partial acquittal on one or more of the charges.

    The administrative detention panels, headed by Lt. Col. Shlomi Kokhav, handled 714 requests for administrative detention in 2010, of which 98.77 percent were approved.

    Only 51 percent of these requests were honored in full, however. The rest offset days the suspect had already been held, or put certain restrictions on the relevant military commander.

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