Gaza detainees humiliated, dressed in diapers: UN rights official

Gaza detainees humiliated, dressed in diapers: UN rights official
Fecha de publicación: 
19 January 2024
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A UN human rights official accused Israel of mistreating Palestinian detainees in Gaza, saying he had met men who had described being held for weeks, beaten and blindfolded, with some released in diapers.

Ajith Sunghay, a UN human rights official in Gaza, told reporters it was not clear exactly how many men had been detained by Israel since it began its military assault in Gaza following Hamas's October 7 attacks, but he said the number ran into the thousands.

"These are men who were detained by the Israeli security forces in unknown locations for between 30 to 55 days," Sunghay told reporters on Friday in Geneva by video link from Gaza.

He said he had just met released detainees in the besieged enclave. "There are reports of men who are subsequently released, but only in diapers without any adequate clothing in this cold weather," he added.

Israel's military and government spokespeople were not immediately available for comment. The Israeli military spokesperson's office has previously said its forces are operating "to dismantle Hamas's military capabilities" and rescue hostages captured by the Palestinian resistance group.

Detainees were treated in accordance with international law, and were often required to hand over clothes to ensure they were not carrying weapons or explosives, the office has said.

Asked to elaborate on why some of the released detainees wore diapers, Sunghay said: "So we're not exactly sure why they were put in diapers and sent out but they were clearly visibly shocked and even shaken when I met them."

Israeli TV broadcast footage in December of Palestinian men stripped to their underwear in Gaza. The images that also circulated on social media drew condemnation from Palestinian, Arab and Muslim officials.

At the time, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy claimed the images showed "military-age men who were discovered in areas that civilians were supposed to have evacuated weeks ago".

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