Question of Palestine home
26 November 1986
Friday, 14 November 1986
at 3 p.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 46th MEETING
: Mrs. BROSNAKOVA (Czechoslovakia)
AGENDA ITEM 94: ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE
AGENDA ITEM 95: HUMAN RIGHTS AND SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS
AGENDA ITEM 96: QUESTION OF A CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
AGENDA ITEM 97: INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS
AGENDA ITEM 98: REPORTING OBLIGATIONS OF STATES PARTIES TO UNITED NATIONS CONVENTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS
AGENDA ITEM 103: TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
AGENDA ITEM 99: OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (
AGENDA ITEM 12: REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (
(Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization), speaking on item 103, said that the Palestinians, like the blacks of South Africa, were among the peoples who suffered most from torture, in the broadest sense of the term. The lot of the Palestinians today was effectively what the lot of the Jewish people had been in Europe, particularly under the Nazi régime.
75. Many of the world's peoples had, over the centuries, been oppressed by other peoples. However, colonialism - in its ancient and modern manifestations - and racial segregation were the cruelest forms of oppression. The Palestinian people had been, and continued to be, the victims of a particularly relentless form of oppression. When they had not actually been deported, they had been stripped of their lands, which had been turned over to new immigrants. Many a Palestinian had fled his land to escape mistreatment by Zionist gangs trained in the most sophisticated techniques or physical and mental torture. It was an irony of fate that the former victims of Nazi oppression and terror had themselves become torturers and treated the Palestinians as they themselves had been treated. Perhaps the cruelest torture of all had been to uproot a segment of that people, forcing it to live in camps in inhuman conditions. What could be more cruel than to destroy a house and scatter its occupants on the pretext that one of the family members living there had threatened the security of Israel? What could be more cruel than the perpetual fear of being arrested or attacked by Israeli forces? Could anyone imagine how much terror and fear had been aroused in Palestinian women and children by the American-made Israeli aircraft flying over their camps, spreading destruction and death? How could the psychological and social effects of such acts be gauged? And yet, such was the treatment to which the Palestinians were subjected every day.
76. However, the psychological torture to which the Palestinian people were subject was not all. There were the Palestinian detainees who were physically and mentally tortured and forced to live in overcrowded cells, in deplorable sanitary conditions, deprived of their most basic human rights. And there were the ordeals to which Palestinians had been, and continued to be, subjected in southern Lebanon in the Al Ansar prison, built by the Israeli army. The conditions of detention there and the tortures inflicted upon the detainees were very bit as horrible as in the Nazi concentration camps. That was just one more vile episode to be added to the long list of crimes perpetrated by the Zionists, such as the massacres at Deir Yassin, Kafr Kassem and the most recent atrocities at Sabra and Shatila. One need only recall the scandal which had recently made headlines out in Israel, when it was uncovered that two disarmed Palestinian fighters who had fallen into the hands of the Israeli forces had been beaten to death after conducting a guerrilla operation.
77. In its report, Amnesty International had confirmed the barbarism and cruelty of Israeli practices. In a letter addressed to the Israeli Minister of Defence, Amnesty International had stressed that international law strictly forbade beating a prisoner in order to elicit information. It was incumbent upon the international community to take measures to ensure the implementation of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, particularly article 32 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, in which the contracting parties had agreed to refrain from any form of torture or mistreatment of such persons.
78. No form of oppression that the Israeli authorities could exercise against the Palestinian people would prevent them from carrying out their struggle, by all available means, under the leadership of their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, to regain their inalienable rights: the right to return, self-determination and the establishment of an independent State.
The meeting rose at 6.30 p.m