Palestinian Man Found Dead in Police Cell After Interrogation

Ashraf Rash, 36, was held for domestic violence. According to police, he committed suicide using a broken light bulb, but his family claims he was beaten to death by officers.

Illustration: A man in handcuffs.
Eyal Varshavsky

A Palestinian man from East Jerusalem who was arrested for domestic violence was found dead in a police holding cell last week after being questioned by detectives. 

Ashraf Rashek, 36, was being held in the Neveh Yaakov police station after his wife fled to a women’s shelter and lodged a complaint against him. 

Police officials say Rashek committed suicide, cutting himself with a glass shard from a light bulb that he broke. 

“As in every case of death, an investigation was opened and the circumstances are under examination,” district police said in a statement.

Rashek's family rejected the police version, and claimed he died after being beaten by officers. "We're 99 percent certain he died from blows he received in his interrogation, and that's according to the bruises on his body. We're now waiting for the results of the investigation," his brother Sharif said.

Sharif added that there were no signs of suicide or cuts on the body. "He could have never done something like that. He loved his kids. We know him."