GENEVA, March 18, 2012 (WAFA) - The Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights (EMOHR) Sunday strongly condemned in a statement the Israeli soldiers’ use of police dogs against peaceful protesters in the Palestinian Territory, considering it a blatant violation of the international and humanitarian law.
EMOHR said the Israeli army unleashed a dog to attack protesters, during the weekly anti-settlements protest in the Qalqilya area village of Kufr Qaddoum on Friday, biting one protester who was arrested.
The statement considered the Israeli actions as an act of torture and an inhuman degrading treatment, which constitutes a crime under international law.
EMOHR documented the Israeli soldier giving a signal to one of the dogs to attack 24 year-old Ahmad Ishtewi, which caused severe bleeding in his thigh and hands.
Ishtewi’s father said that his son was a victim of an intentional attack that happened right in front of the Israeli soldiers, who just stood there despite Ahmad’s cries for help.
A field researcher at EMOHR demanded Israel to reveal Ishtewi’s whereabouts, which remain unknown since his attack and arrest on Friday.
The researcher warned of the Israeli army repeated inhuman use of police dogs against Palestinians.
The Israeli army has been using trained police dogs against Palestinian workers, women, children and prisoners since the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000 under the pretext of conducting security searches. However, documentations showed that dogs were used in the form of torture and abuse as in the case of Ahmad Ishtewi, added the researcher.
EMOHR said that the use of police dogs against civilians is prohibited and considered a form of torture based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).