BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An autopsy has revealed that Arafat Jaradat died of extreme torture in Israeli custody and did not have a cardiac arrest, the PA Minister of Detainee Affairs said Sunday.
At a news conference in Ramallah, Issa Qaraqe said an autopsy conducted in Israel in the presence of Palestinian officials revealed that 30-year-old Jaradat had six broken bones in his neck, spine, arms and legs.
"The information we have received so far is shocking and painful. The evidence corroborates our suspicion that Mr. Jaradat died as a result of torture, especially since the autopsy clearly proved that the victim's heart was healthy, which disproves the initial alleged account presented by occupation authorities that he died of a heart attack," Qaraqe said......
The minister said Jaradat had sustained injuries and severe bruising in the upper right back area and severe bruises of sharp circular shape in the right chest area..... evidence of severe torture and on the muscle of the upper left shoulder, parallel to the spine in the lower neck area, and evidence of severe torture under the skin and inside the muscle of the right side of the chest. His second and third ribs in the right side of the chest were broken, Qaraqe said, and he also had injuries in the middle of the muscle in the right hand...Palestinian Prisoners Society president Qaddura Fares added that the autopsy revealed seven injuries to the inside of Jaradat's lower lip, bruises on his face and blood on his nose...... no signs of bruising or stroke, the minister added.
"Jaradat died due to torture and not a stroke or heart attack," he said, adding that those responsible must be sued either through Interpol or the International Criminal Court.
Jaradat's lawyer Kameel Sabbagh said he was tortured by Israeli interrogators. ......"When I entered the courtroom I saw Jaradat sitting on a wooden chair in front of the judge. His back was hunched and he looked sick and fragile," Sabbagh said in a statement Sunday.
"When I sat next to him he told me that he had serious pains in his back and other parts of his body because he was being beaten up and hanged for many long hours while he was being investigated..When Jaradat heard that the judge postponed his hearing he seemed extremely afraid....."