Israel arrests Palestinian children

Article 40 of the convention on the rights of the child addresses Juvenile justice: it states Children who are accused of breaking the law have the right to legal help and fair treatment in a justice system that respects their rights. And while Israel is a signatory to the Convention, stories of child abuse at its hands continue to surface.

Child arrests and beatings have always been a source of embarrassment for the Israeli Police, particularly in Silwan neighborhood in East Jerusalem al-Quds. There, Palestinian residents warn that child arrests are frequent and often carried out in violation of the law.

Sara, mother of 10 year old Tamer and 7 year old Amer was shocked when she learnt that her children were arrested just outside of school along with other kids.

Amer and Tamer were lucky that their mother found them just before they were taken to the police station, but other kids aren’t this lucky, explains one human rights activist.

Another story from Silwan.15 year old Mahmoud has been under full house arrest for a year now, awaiting his trial. During this time he had to drop school.

At the time of his arrest Mahmoud was 14. He says he spent one week in detention before being released on condition that he stays under full house arrest. Since then he has not been able to go back to school.

In 2011 it was estimated that over 300 children were arrested in Silwan alone on suspicion of throwing rocks at Israeli settlers or at the Israeli police. According to Silwan Information center all those children were subjected to physical and physcological violence particularly at the hands of undercover units. The Silwan information center further alleges that the Israeli police at some instances withheld medical treatment from injured kids.

( / 25.01.2012)

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