It is a political statement, says D.K. Row of the Oregonian. A replica of Israel’s facility prison with a shadow that follows the same course the shadow at this facility in the Haifi district does. Erie, to say the least, it’s like you’re looking at the real thing. I’m talking about Jan Tichy, and Israeli Czeck’s, video projection in Portland’s Art Museum’s new exhibit, Disquieted. As the title infers, the pieces are disturbing but revealing. This replica of Camp 1391 is one of the only left for the public to see. Israel has called for the extinction of all photographs of the secret prison. The picture at the bottom is the best image one can find on google, which doesn’t even come close to revealing the atrosities of what happens inside the camp.
Many call it Israel’s Guantanamo, which it may just as well be. It was created in the 1930’s, and was unknown to the public until 2003. In 2006 it was used to detain Lebanese and Palestinian rebels from the Lebanon war with Israel. I say rebels, because many of the people imprisoned were not Hezbollah. To this day many of those prisoners are still in Facility 1391, held without charges, held without a sentence, unknown to the world. This is where Palestinians disappear, “potentially forever” says Leah Tsemel, an Israeli lawyer for Palestinian human rights. Muslims as well as human rights activists have said that this secret prison imprisons Muslims and Arabs, primarily Palestinians, interrogaters and even torture them here. Because of it’s confidentiality, the interrogations there are described as being worst than what happens in Guantanamo. One inmate reports being raped twice. But because detainees are forced to wear sacks over their heads everytime they are brought food, everytime someone comes to their cell, basically anytime they come in contact with an Israeli soldier, for the soldier’s protection. This is one of the reasons why no one in Camp 1391 has been indicted. It’s virtually impossible to determine the perpetrator.
According to a report by the Guardian, Hashem Fahaf was immediately detained after he went to visit Sheikh Abd al-Karim Obeid, a prominent Shiite Leader. Fahaf, who was never charged with a crime was refused a lawyer and detained for 11 years. This Lebanese was robbed 11 years of his life by the Israeli government for the sole purpose of being a “bargaining chip” for an Israeli Airforce Navigator captured by the Palestinians. A civilian for a prisoner of war, and he’s not alone.
After the rape, after physical torture during interrogations, it was the solitary confinement that made the Muslim and Arab prisoners life miserable in Facility 1391. Israelis, as well as Palestinians,Lebanese, and in general human right activist around the world are fighting the legality of the secret prison. What justification do secret prisons have for the right to exist? If there are already laws in place that allows Israel to interrogate its prisoners, then why does Camp 1391 remain secretive? The only answer to that we have are the prisoners themselves, and their testimonies that have no voice in the Israeli Supreme Court. Just another Guantanamo, and more than likely, just one of many. Perhaps this is why 1391 to this day remains a disquieted animosity.
For more information on Camp 1391: