On Wednesday the 7th of November an international human right worker (HRW) in Hebron was arrested, handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten because he refused to give his passport away to soldiers at an Israeli checkpoint.
According to Israeli law, a soldier does in fact have the right to look at the passport and check the validity of the visa, but cannot demand to take the passport away. The HRW held the passport in his hand to show his visa, but refused to hand it over and was therefore arrested and handcuffed.
As more HRWs arrived to the scene, the soldiers decided to change his handcuff, so he was cuffed with his arms behind his back, and to put a blindfold over his eyes so he would not be able to see. After this, the arrested HRW was led to a nearby military base where he was forced to sit down. He was then reeceived punches to his face and head, truncheon strokes to his neck and hips and kicks to his breast and abdomen.
Ten minutes later, the Israeli police arrived, taking him to the police station where he was later released. The man went straight to the hospital to receive medical care and to document his injuries in order to file a complaint against the soldiers responsible for the abuse.
Since last week, the Israeli soldiers in this area have been particularly harsh against international observers. Earlier Wednesday morning an international activist, on her way to the hospital to treat an aggressive eye infection, was held at a checkpoint for an hour and half to ‘check her identity’.