Chuka Umunna MP addresses LFPME reception about Caabu/LFPME visit
In an address at Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East's (LFPME) reception, Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna talked about his recent visit to Palestine with Caabu and LFPME. Speaking about a visit to Israel's military courts, and the way Palestinian child detainess are treated, he said "there are three or four things there which completely offend a proper sense of a rule of law .... what I saw was not a court but a processing unit."
He condemned the treatment of Palestinian children in the whole process, from arrest to trial. He talked about children being dragged out of their homes in the early hours, dumped into military vehicles blindfolded and with their hands tied, with no responsible adult or lawyer present. This is then followed by interrogation, again, without an adult or lawyer present, with the children being asked to sign confessions in Hebrew which they do not understand. After signing the confession the children go to court, and in many cases, this will be the first time they see their lawyer. This, he said "is not, in any way, shape, or form, how a democracy operates in my understanding, of how courts operate in a democracy, and I've told the Israeli government that." He continued:
"How can you ask a young juvenile to sign a confession, or a statement... in a language they don't understand and tell me that is acceptable? You would never be allowed to do that in a UK court, and I say that as someone who has practiced as a solicitor for almost a decade."