New procedure for complaints against ISA interrogators
[11 June 2013] – The Israeli Ministry of Justice has announced that complaints made against Israeli Security Agency (ISA) (“Shin Bet”) interrogators will no longer be conducted by a serving ISA employee. Instead, complaints will now be handled by a Complaints Inspector independent of the ISA. The Ministry announced that the first Complaints Inspector will be Colonel (Res.) Jana Modzagavrishivili, who has no apparent links with the ISA.
For over a decade, a number of organisations and UN bodies, led by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel
(PCATI), have been calling for a complaints mechanism independent of the ISA. The need for an independent complaints mechanism is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that since 2001, over 750 complaints have been filed against ISA interrogators alleging ill-treatment and torture without a single criminal investigation being opened. The situation relating to complaints lodged against the Israeli army and police is little better with at least 95 percent of cases being closed without an indictment being filed (MCW – Accountability
). Only time will tell whether this measure results in genuine accountability in cases of alleged ill-treatment and torture by ISA interrogators.