Our Work

:PCATI works to eliminate torture in Israel through several parallel tracks

In the legal sphere, we document instances of unlawful violence during interrogations, demonstrations, detention, and in other settings. We submit complaints and petition the courts in Israel on behalf of the victims. We also initiate legal proceedings on issues of principle in order to prevent the use of torture. PCATI also works with international legal institutions and recently became the first Israeli organization to submit a complaint to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The complaint argues that the torture used by Israel against Palestinian residents of the Territories is tantamount to a war crime mandating the Court’s intervention.

In the public sphere, we work with the Knesset and with government ministries in order to promote policy and legislation to criminalize torture and to enhance enforcement and penalization of those responsible for torture. We advocate the enactment of a law against torture – something that has not yet been undertaken in Israel; the full and exhaustive investigation of complaints of torture; and the strengthening of the mechanisms of supervision and control over interrogations conducted by the security forces in Israel and in the Territories. We work to raise awareness of the phenomenon of torture among the Israeli public through public events, professional training sessions, and media exposure.

In the international arena, we work with institutions and individuals in the international and diplomatic community in order to encourage Israel to realize its international undertakings, particularly to the UN Convention on Torture, of which it is a member.

In the field of forensic expertise, PCATI is the leading Israeli organization in the introduction of the Istanbul Protocol: Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to Israeli professional audiences and the judiciary. The Protocol has been recognized by the UN and a series of international bodies as the minimum standard for effective examination of claims of torture. A group of PCATI volunteers, including medical professionals, mental health experts, and jurists conducts forensic assessments in accordance with the Istanbul Protocol and inculcates the professional knowledge it has acquired in the community of experts in Israel and abroad. Through our legal and public initiatives, PCATI works to consolidate the status of the Istanbul Protocol as a recognized and accepted tool in the Israeli legal system.