Omar Ala ad-Din: arrested and tortured as a warning
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Omar Ala ad-Din: arrested and tortured as a warning

Omar Ala ad-Din had been arrested at the ‘container checkpoint’ on Monday March 15. He stayed seven days in custody being tortured and still he defied his torturers: “This Friday you will see me again in the protest”

Omar was first physically assaulted when the soldiers at the checkpoint detained him and beat him with their rifle butts. He reports that the beating continued whilst he was in custody. Occupation forces continued to use their rifle butts to beat him on his chest, back and neck.

Once he arrived at Ma’ale Addumim police center, he reports having to lie down with his back on the floor, where he was pulled by his legs and dragged over rough floor until his back was full of scratches.

He was beaten with sticks on his legs. Soldiers aimed their beatings at his genitalia leaving him just enough space to protect himself. They further focused their beatings with a stick on his head and neck. When Omar had was admitted to a hospital for 24 hours after having been released, he was diagnosed with light concussion from the beatings he suffered in custody.

Further, Omar was deprived of sleep for full four days whilst being detained.

The treatment Omar Ala ad-Din has been subjected to qualifies as torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under the Convention against Torture as it is pain inflicted purposefully by an official. Omar was tortured continuously in three different detention facilities he was sent to within the six days of his arrest in order to extract information from him, punish him and, above all, in order to send a warning to others trying to resist the occupation. This underlines the evidence that torture and inhumane treatment is pervasive across the Israeli detention system.

Omar was repeatedly questioned about his participation in the Friday demonstrations in al Ma’sara. He did not deny his engagement in human rights activism and participation in popular demonstrations. Even after days of torture and ill treatment he defied his captives by pledging he’d be back in action next Friday.

Omar’s case is only one of thousands of Palestinians who have undergone torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in Israeli prisons. Torture is a crime, always. Omar’s ordeal had no other end but being a warning – a warning to all those that stand up in the face of the Wall and the Occupation, and to those that speak out against Israeli apartheid and human rights violations.