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Affidavit No. 6070/2011

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected to penal action, I, the undersigned, Samer Mu’in Burhan Jabr, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 938489226, born on 4 April 1981, unemployed, and a resident of ‘Arraba town, Jenin governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a resident of ‘Arraba town in the Jenin governorate.

At around 2:30 pm on Thursday, 20 January 2011, I was standing in front of the Jenin Governmental Hospital in Jenin city when I was approached by a person I did not recognise. He demanded that I present my ID card and introduced himself as a Palestinian Preventative Security (PPS) officer. Without presenting an arrest warrant, he forced me into a Subaru car and transported me to the PPS headquarters. As soon as I arrived there, I was detained for a period of about an hour without being interrogated. I was then relocated to a room in which three interrogators questioned me until 1:00 am the following day, Friday 21 January 2011. Until that moment, I had not been subjected to any physical abuse. The interrogation focused generally on my political affiliation to the Islamic Jihad Movement.

I suffer from a physical disability in my right foot as well as from a visual impairment of 90 percent in both eyes. I drew their attention to my disabilities and they could also verify that from a special card I carried.

At 1:00 am, I was transported to the Medical Services offices where a medical committee examined me and then I was taken back to the PPS headquarters. I was placed in solitary confinement cell located somewhere within the Interrogations Unit at the PPS headquarters.  The cell was at most two metres long and one metre wide. There was a mattress and two blankets that were so dirty for anyone to smell. The cell also had high levels of humidity. On Friday, I was interrogated again on two occasions but I was not subjected to any physical abuse.

In the morning of Saturday, 22 January 2011, I appeared in front of the Public Prosecution in Jenin where they extended my detention for a period of 48 hours. As soon as I was taken back to the PPS headquarters, I was subjected to physical abuse. I was charged with possessing weapons and fireworks as well as of arousing sectarian feuds. I requested that the Prosecutor appoint a lawyer for me and call my family, but he did not agree to my demands.

At around 1:00 pm on Saturday, 22 January 2011, I had an interrogation session during which the interrogators abused me. The so-called As’ad Shteiwi, the Director of Interrogation, approached and hit me on the face with his hands. He punched me in the face with both his hands repeatedly, and then he brought a thick stick and asked me to open my hands and he hit them with it. I told him that I suffer from arthritis and that I could not bear the beating. He
literarily responded with “It is not a problem if all your bones broke, it does not concern me, do not think that you disabilities will make me have pity on you.”

He then continued to violently beat me on my hands with the stick, he beat me about 50 times and this caused me a lot of pain. The officer then began beating me on my arms with the stick and poking it in my chest in order to push me back. He then beat me on both my wrists and beat my head with the stick. He also tried twice to beat my genitals but I blocked the hits with my hands. The officer beat me for about 30 minutes in total. I passed out as he was beating my head. Immediately after I regained consciousness, the officer ordered one of the prison guards to come and take me to stand in al-shabeh position. The guard took me to the hallway where I was forced to stand on my feet while lifting my hands over my head. I remained in that position for three days except for when I was taken to the interrogation room for questioning that lasted 30 minutes and the officer would beat me the same way again and then I would be taken back to be in al-shabeh position. I was only allowed to rest in times of prayer; never more than ten minutes each time. My face was always facing the wall and I kept standing on my feet. I boycotted food for a period of three days. A nurse measured my blood pressure several times a day.

At around 12:00 pm on Wednesday, 25 January 2011, I felt severe spasms in my legs and I felt my body completely collapse. I lost consciousness and was transported to the Medical Services office where I received some medication and treatment. I was then relocated to the Interrogations Unit at the PPS headquarters and was placed in solitary confinement again. At around 4:00 pm on the same day, I was transported to the Jenin Governmental Hospital, where I had several medical exams and x-rays. After my medical exams, I was taken back to the PPS headquarters and returned to solitary confinement. In the morning of the next day, 26 January 2011, I was taken again to the Governmental Hospital and had IV nutritional therapy. I was then taken back to the solitary detention cell.

On Sunday, 23 January 2011, I appeared in front of a judge at the Jenin Conciliation Court and my detention was extended for another 15 days. However, I explained to the judge that I was subjected to torture and asked him to relocate me to a civilian prison. Indeed, the judge ordered that I be transferred to a civilian prison. He also requested that I calm down because I was very emotional. I was never relocated despite the judge’s decision. Instead, I was taken back to the detention cells at the PPS headquarters. I should note that the judge managed to remove my statement, of having been tortured by PPS officers, from the record. Furthermore, the judge did not order that I be examined by a doctor despite the fact that he saw the scars I obtained from the beating, especially on my hands.

On the sixth day of my detention, Wednesday 25 January 2011, I was not subjected to any torture. However, I continued to be detained in solitary confinement for 18 consecutive days. Meantime, I was subjected to five interrogation session, but I was not beaten or humiliated or subjected to al-shabeh. During this period, I had my meals and medicine. My family were only allowed to visit me 23 days after my detention. At the end of the 15-day period of my first arrest extension had expired, I was presented again to the judge at the Jenin Conciliation Court and had my detention extended for another 15 days. When I was appeared before the judge, I explained to him what I had said earlier and that I suffered from a disability. He said that his powers were limited to extending my detention. Nevertheless, he explained that it was my right to request that I meet with the presiding judge of the court and present my problem to him, which I did. The judge extended my detention for a period of 15 days and told a police officer inside the judge’s room to take me to the president of the court and then to the Medical Services offices. This was recorded on the minutes of the trial session. When we got out of the judge’s room, nothing of the judge’s decision was implemented. PPS officers took me back once again to the detention centre at the PPS headquarters.

Two days later, I granted a female lawyer, who used to train at Lawyer Ghassan Massad’s office, power of attorney in my case based on my family’s request. On 9 February 2011, my family were allowed to visit me after 23 days of detention. They visited me for the second time on 15 February 2011. I continued to be detained until 17 February 2011. The lawyer managed to get the court to release on a bail of JD 5,000; I was released at around 4:00 pm on the same day. Before my release, I was asked to report to the PPS headquarters on Saturday, 19 February 2011, but I did not know why. Now, I am preparing myself to go to the PPS headquarters to figure out why they asked me to report back to them.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 6070/2011
  • Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud
  • Affidavit Date: 19 February 2011
  • Name: Samer Mu’in Burhan Jabr
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