Refugees sue Israeli envoy over torture link

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The Independent Online

A Danish lawmaker and a group of refugees filed a police suit yesterday against the new Israeli ambassador to Denmark, who has upset human rights activists with comments on the use of torture.

Carmi Gilon, who was head of Israel's Shin Bet security service from 1994-96, recently said he had authorised the use of "moderate physical pressure". He also said Israel might have to reconsider a 1999 court ban on using force in interrogations because of Palestinian attacks against Israeli targets.

Kenneth Haar, spokesman of the Red-Green Alliance Party, said: "We're filing against Gilon for breaching the UN convention on torture."The other complainants area group of immigrants and refugees from Iran, India, Turkey, Chile and the former Yugoslavia, who say they were tortured in their native lands.

Israeli embassy officials have not returned phone calls and Mr Gilon will not comment until he takes up the post of ambassador, expected sometime in September. In any case the suit is largely symbolic as he has diplomatic immunity.