Police Interrogators Tortured Suspected Israeli Arab Spy, Say Lawyers

Attorneys say considering a petition to the High Court of Justice, after their request to see Makhoul's prison medical records was denied.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Attorneys for Ameer Makhoul, the prominent Israeli Arab activist who is under arrest on allegations of spying for Hezbollah, said yesterday they strongly suspect that his interrogators tortured him.

His attorneys - Hassan Jabareen, Orna Kohn and Hussein Abu Hussein - said they were considering legal measures, including a petition to the High Court of Justice, after their request to see Makhoul's prison medical records was denied.

That denial also prompted Physicians for Human Rights to apply for permission to visit Makhoul in jail.

Haaretz has learned that Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, is considering filing a petition with the High Court demanding that all interrogations of people suspected of security offenses be documented on videotape. Jabareen and Kohn both work for Adalah.

Yesterday the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court extended Makhoul's remand for another five days. It also extended the remand of the other suspect in the case, Dr. Omar Saeed, until Sunday, and extended a gag order on reporting most of the case's details until Monday.

In addition to spying, both men are suspected of having contact with a foreign agent.

Protests against the arrest of Makhoul and Saeed - which Arab activists have labeled political persecution - continue to be staged in both Haifa and Kafr Kana, the suspects' respective hometowns. The Arab-Jewish Hadash party is slated to discuss the general issue of arrests and indictments of Arab public figures at its national convention in Nazareth today.

Janan Makhoul, wife of Israeli Arab spy suspect Ameer Makhoul, demonstrates with others outside the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court during his arrest extension on May 12, 2010. Credit: AP

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