Allegations of torture against Ahmad Ibrahim Sa’id

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Office of the Prime Minister

3 Kaplan Street

Jerusalem 91919


Dear Prime Minister: 

The Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America is concerned about reports that Ahmad Ibrahim Sa'id (ID No. 944123066) -- a student at Birzeit University who has been under arrest since 29 June 1994 -- has been subjected to torture while under interrogation. Amnesty International wrote to you on 12 August 1994 expressing its concern about allegations that Mr. Sa'id had been hooded and shackled in painful positions for prolonged periods, deprived of sleep, and beaten. According to Mr. Sa'id's lawyer, his interrogation was resumed on 20 September, and he was again hooded and forced to stand for prolonged periods, to sit on a chair with his hands tied while his interrogators tried to make him fall, and deprived of sleep for a week. 

The Middle East Studies Association comprises 2400 academics worldwide who teach and conduct research on the Middle East and North Africa. The association publishes the respected International Journal of Middle East Studies and is committed to ensuring respect for the principles of academic freedom and human rights throughout the region. 

We respectfully request a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into Ahmad Ibrahim Sa'id's allegations of torture after his arrest in June and its resumption since 20 September 1994. Please inform us of the results of any such investigation. 

We are also concerned by your call for legislation permitting harsher interrogation of suspects following the kidnapping of Nachshon Waxman and the bomb attack which killed 22 people on a Tel Aviy bus, as well as by other statements of Israeli officials calling for harsher interrogation methods of those suspected of membership in Islamic opposition groups. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Israeli government is obliged to ensure that no one under its jurisdiction is subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 

We would like to receive from you a clarification of the situations currently regarded as exempted from the Landau Commission guidelines by the Israeli government. 


Anne H. Betteridge

Executive Director 


Brigadier General Ilan Shiff, Judge Advocate

General Brigadier General Shaul Mofaz, Commander of the West Bank

Colonel Moshe Rosenberg, Legal Adviser for the Central Command

Judge Yosef Harish, Attorney General

Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich

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