Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Update: Arrest of Musab Musa Raba'i

We received a call at 10pm, on 7 January 2010. This was the same day that the army attacked Palestinian shepherds from At-Tuwani, hospitalizing six people and arresting one of the shepherds. We were told that Musab had been released from jail and the men who were going to pick him up wanted internationals to come with them. As we got in the car we heard that Musab had just been thrown out of a police jeep, blindfolded, in the middle of the night. When the police threw him out of the jeep they told him that if they saw him again they would kill him. He was thus very concerned for his safety, as he waited in the dark by a settler bypass road. He told his brother that if the police or soldiers saw him, he was afraid he would get beaten. He decided to hide in a bush, looking for our flashlights which we were shining out the window, and wait for us to come.

When we found Musab he began to tell us the awful story of his "detention." The same eight soldiers who arrested him, and beat him and his brothers in the process, took him to a nearby military base. Rather than processing him at the police station, or even officially detaining him (which would require them to wait for the police to come), they took him to a military base in order to interrogate him.

Musab was interrogated, while blindfolded, for 4 hours. He was tortured. For 4 hours he was struck in the back, in the face, pushed up against walls, denied food and water, and his request to pray was denied. The soldiers wanted information on his brothers, who they had tried to arrest, but were unable to capture. Musab refused to give any information and refused to speak Hebrew with the soldiers, thus infuriating them. The soldiers told him that they would come to his house tomorrow or the next day and beat him and his brothers, maybe even kill them. They tried to get Musab to say that they were the best soldiers in the IDF. Musab told me his hands and feet were tied, he was blindfolded, and was sitting in a chair. In order to protect himself, Musab put his head in his lap, in an attempt to protect his head and his genitals. Musab refused to lift his head. He said that at one point a soldier cocked his rifle and told him to lift his head or he would shoot him. Musab refused.

After 4 hours of this interrogaton and torture, they took Musab to Kiryat Arba police station (the place where one is usually taken immiedately upon arrest -- although Musab was never actually arrested, or officially detained).

The Israeli police told him that people are usually offered food and water, but he was not offered any as a punishment. After 30 minutes, the police tied up his hands and feet, blindfolded him, and drove him to a location unknown to him. He immediately called us to come pick him up.

This is outrageous and obscene. We have pictures of these soldiers and they need to be brought before the short-arm of the Israeli law. Israeli soldiers must be held accountable for torturing people. Israeli soldiers especially must be held accountable when they falsely detain a Palestinian shepherd who has committed no crime, and then torture him. I can't wait to get a video out to you all about this incident. If you don't believe Musab's account of what happened, you will be able to see with your own eyes the brutality of the Israeli army on 7 December 2010 in At-Tuwani.

1 comment:

sharon said...

thank you so much...both for your work and for your voice. (i am sharon on twitter and dearanxiety on livejournal)