Court orders state to explain secrecy on prison Facility 1391


Oct 9, 1999
since there was so much "interest" in this subject a while ago

The High Court of Justice on Monday ordered the
state to explain within 45 days why it is refusing
to release information on the secret interrogation
and detention facility 1391.

In September the court
instructed the Center for the
Defense of the Individual to
submit a revised petition
that raises the question of
whether the state may hold
security detainees in a
secret prison.

Justices Eliahu Mazza, Mishael

Cheshin and Miriam Naor reached their decision
after reviewing a petition submitted on behalf
of Palestinians who have served time in
Facility 1391, a closed military prison.

Represented by the Center for the Defense of the
Individual, the petitioners claimed that
families and attorneys of the Palestinians held
in Facility 1391 have not been informed of
where the detainees are being held.

The state recently admitted that Facility 1391
exists, but claimed that it is a regular
military prison located in a secret military

Early in the hearing, state prosecutors told the
court that a democratic state has "very good
reasons" for keeping the location of a prison
facility of this nature secret. The state, said
prosecutors, will only agree to provide its
arguments in this connection behind closed

The petitioners claimed that if the state wants
to operate the facility as though it is a
regular prison, it must turn it over to
military police administration, allow
supervision and open it to visits by lawyers
and human rights groups.