Updated: Jan 27, 2022
Honenu has represented many citizens whose fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of protest, have been violated with regard to pride marches. Please click here for a list of relevant posts. Thursday, July 8, 2021, 11:02 Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado filed a complaint with the Public Complaints Officer on behalf of three hareidi yeshiva students who were unjustifiably detained and publicly degraded by being stripped to their boxer shorts and body searched on the day of the Tel Aviv Pride March, Friday, June 25. They were not causing a disturbance and were detained solely due to their appearance. The content of the complaint is as follows: The three yeshiva students from Bnei Brak were on their way to the Sheraton Beach, a separate beach in Tel Aviv. They were not aware that at the same time, in the same area, a pride march that included a gathering on a beach near the Sheraton Beach was scheduled to take place. On their way to the beach, all three were detained by policemen who were in the area. Nothing convinced the police that they were simply on their way to the separate beach – not their pleas that they had not come to do anything connected to the pride march, not the contents of their bag, which included a watermelon, not the fact that none of them had a criminal record, and not the fact that there was no intelligence information on any of them. They were stripped to their boxer shorts, a search which is permitted only if there is a reasonable suspicion that an individual is concealing an object liable to be used in a crime. The humiliating strip search was conducted on the complainants purely on the basis of profiling and only because they are hareidi. They were told that the grounds for the detention and search were their being hareidi! The policemen had metal detectors at the checkpoint, and although they could have used them, they chose to strip search the complainants. This is over-policing to the point of a severe violation of the rights of an individual. Labeling hareidi Jews merely for being hareidi, without any intelligence information or suspicious circumstances, is baseless and demeaning racist labeling. This labeling harms the entire hareidi population, who should not have to fear being strip searched. The LGBT community’s day of celebration is not a day for the hareidi public to be harassed. I would appreciate your handling of this specific incident and also your drawing the correct conclusions, particularly with regard to an area in which a pride march is scheduled near a place where hareidi Jews gather.