The State of Palestine called on the UN Special Rapporteurs to urge Israel, the occupying Power, to refrain from resorting to the brutal and barbaric policy of seizing the bodies of the martyrs and to abolish any laws that allow such action, and to demand that the bodies be immediately returned to their families And to conduct real, impartial, independent and effective investigations into the deaths of detainees and peaceful protesters.
This came in a letter sent by the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in Geneva, on behalf of the State of Palestine, to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, in addition to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and the President The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, the Special Rapporteur Concerned with freedom of religion and belief, and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition, in order to ensure accountability and deterrence of Israel, the occupying power, from seizing Palestinian bodies, especially the bodies of minors and detainees.
It also called on the State of Palestine to urge Israel, the occupying power, to publish its own rules of engagement regarding the use of live ammunition, regulate the use of lethal fire, respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and call on the international community to provide protection for the Palestinian people and put an end to Israel’s systematic and discriminatory policies, and support The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has worked on its preliminary study of the situation in Palestine.
It urged the special rapporteurs to initiate a criminal investigation into the return of the bodies, including the development of a DNA test and registration service, and to facilitate the proper identification and burial of the bodies and remains.
The letter was addressed to the special rapporteurs regarding Israel’s illegal detention of 66 bodies of Palestinian martyrs in refrigerators, in addition to the presence of 254 Palestinians in mass graves by Israel, the occupying power, where they were denied the right to a dignified burial.
The letter stated that Israel, the occupying power, is using this illegal and systematic practice of detaining the bodies of Palestinians who were executed and killed by the Israeli occupation forces as a bargaining chip, and that this policy violates the human dignity of the victims and their families and infringes on the families’ right to privacy and religious freedom.
She emphasized that the policy of detaining the bodies and their impact on families amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and customary international law, which prohibits torture and ill-treatment, including Rule 90 of the customary international law study, which Israel is obligated to do. Commitment to it in the occupied Palestinian territories.
She said that the policy of detaining the bodies deprives Palestinian victims and their stricken families from investigating the circumstances of the killings, and thus violates Israel’s obligation to investigate, punish, and address arbitrary deprivation of life, including the obligation to allow an adequate medical autopsy by an independent forensic examiner if the family requests it.
(Source / 28.08.2020)