From the occasion of the International Day in Support of Torture Victims, PCATI in cooperation with the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Diplomacy held a conference on May 25th, From Taqsim Square to Rabin Square: Institutionalized Violence, at the Ben Gurion University.
The first part of the conference explored the roots of torture in Turkey and Israel. Dr. Noam Hofstadter (PCATI) and Adv. Elif Koru (Human Rights Foundation of Turkey) presented the findings of a joint, two-year research project, aiming at analyzing the topic. The findings show similarities in the overarching phenomena of using torture in the investigation rooms as well as on the streets against demonstrators both in Turkey and Israel. As pointed out by the researchers, torture is not only used by the law enforcement authorities to extract information but also as a means of punishment.
The second part of the conference explored the issue of police brutality in Israel. Rafat Abu Aish (Negev Co-Existence Forum for Civil Equality) and Adv. Tali Dajeen (Tebeka) spoke about police brutality and ill-treatment which may amount to torture and which has recently been used against various groups of Israeli the society (such as Bedouins and Ethiopians). The speakers also spoke about the high prevalence of impunity and the difficulties in prosecuting the policemen having committed ill-treatment.
Finally, an animation film (incl. English subtitles) dealing with the issue of police violence and made by PCATI was launched at the event. Check out the animation by clicking here.