Israel Police patrol car [File].
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
An IDF prison officer was recently convicted of bashing into a wall the head of a haredi soldier who was imprisoned for desertion, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has said.
A decision handed down earlier this week and announced on Thursday, gave Lt. Adir Malcha a lenient 10-day military prison sentence. He was not demoted or removed from his supervisory position, PCATI said the army, regrettably, viewed the April 2016 incident – in which Malcha shoved the soldier’s head into the wall – as only a “departure from his authority” and “using unreasonable force,” not as any of the more serious offenses it could have been viewed as.
In a separate incident, a different haredi soldier has filed a still-pending complaint against Malcha, which contains similar allegations of physical abuse against the officer.
On top of those two cases, PCATI said that Malcha has repeatedly humiliated a number of other haredi soldiers in the prison for their religious feelings and behaviors, prohibiting them from having access to books and ritual items used in daily prayer.
PCATI lawyer Noa Levi said, “The torture that my client underwent at the hands of the military police constitutes a harsh and disgraceful example regarding how the military prison guards relate to the law and to the physical and emotional well-being of the prisoners.”
She did praise the military police for probing Malcha’s actions and for his conviction, but added that his “light sentence... highlights the failed concept of the system and the lack of will to achieve justice” in cases of abuse.