The extreme right-wing activist Amiram Ben-Uliel, the main suspect in the Duma arson and murder, has released a special recording in which he describes undergoing torture at the hands of the Israel Security Agency (ISA, also known as the Shin Bet or Shabak).
Ben-Uliel claims that this torture led to his confession.
“I didn’t sleep for several nights… and then they took me to the preliminary sentencing. After returning from the hearing, they again took me for questioning. They interrogated me about that night and told me, ‘Let’s say that tomorrow at this time, this will be an emergency room,'” he describes.
He chose not to answer the questions and was then threatened by the interrogators. “They yelled at me a lot, screamed at me until all of my clothes were covered in spit. They threatened me a lot and told me that they can do whatever they want to me because I’m alone. They told me that I’m stuck… they cuffed my arms tight behind my back.”
“They sat me down on a chair with my shoulder towards the backrest and tied to the floor. They forced my legs behind the chair’s legs. Just sitting in that position was impossible and after a minute, at most, I simply fell backwards,” he added.
Ben-Uliel then explained that one of the interrogators “grabbed me by the shirt and told me, ‘I’m going to be your nightmare. We will drink your blood through your ears’ and all sorts of similar threats, screams, shouts, beatings, and slaps.
“They continued torturing me. All throughout the questioning, all under threat, all with beatings. They made me do all sorts of exercises. They stood me up with long cuffs behind my back, always with my legs shackled. They put me in a position that I was bent over.”
Ben-Uliel’s lawyer, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has stated in response to the recording that “The chilling evidence on tape, accompanied by the fact that, until this moment, the ISA and prosecutors have not been willing to give us the interrogation tapes from these hours and days, teaches us that Ben-Uliel was tortured and gave a forced confession that is not permitted under Israeli law.”
He added: “It is time to establish an investigatory committee to look into the torture and who gave permission to use torture. The violence against Ben-Uliel is continuing and, in effect, all of those arrested in this case, including those who have not been directly charged with what happened in Duma, continue to undergo violence from the Prison Service and the ISA. They are located in separate wings, isolated from the world, and are not even allowed to speak on the phone.”
Yitzhak Bam, a lawyer who joined Ben-Uliel’s defense team, says that “Amiram Ben-Uliel has joined a long list of Jews throughout history who, under torture, admitted to the blood libels attributed to them. I only hope that the Israeli court will be more suspicious of confessions that were obtained through torture than European courts were during the Middle Ages.”