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Complaint filed with police, GSS

Monday, March 5, 2018, 9:54 Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado filed a complaint on behalf of four detainees with the Public Complaints Officer of the Jerusalem District Police and the GSS department responsible for examining complaints from interrogatees. On Friday, March 2, four young Jewish men were detained in the Old City of Jerusalem and taken to the Kishleh Police Station for interrogation. Their privacy was violated, personal items were taken from them and they were interrogated by the GSS without being asked their consent. One of the complainants, Y., aged 22, described the course of events: “Three of my friends and I were walking through the Old City of Jerusalem. On Via Dolorosa, an Arab resident of the neighborhood approached us and offered to take us to a look-out over the Temple Mount for ten shekels each. We agreed and followed him. He brought us into a local school overlooking the Temple Mount. We prayed for a few minutes and went back towards the street. At the entrance to the street we saw policemen waiting.” Y. stated that the policemen demanded ID cards from all four of the group, as the Arab explained to the policemen that he had taken them to a look-out after they had paid him, as he does with other tourists at the site. The policemen paid no attention to his explanations and took the group to the police station at the Lions’ Gate. “At the station they did not allow us to speak to each other. They allowed us to relieve ourselves only with the door [to the bathroom] open and later they took our cell phones.” Later the detainees were forcibly transferred to the Kishleh Police Station and also there they were forbidden to speak to each other. They were held at the police station for over three hours. “It was a Friday and it was already late. We had been detained for over six hours by the police. At ‘Kishleh’ they interrogated each one of us with the door open and after that we were interrogated by the Shabak [GSS].” Y. stated that he was not informed before the interrogation that he was entering a Shabak interrogation and his consent to the interrogation was not requested, as is required by law. Y.: “The interrogator asked me, ‘What is your opinion about the status of the Temple Mount?’, ‘When was the last time you were on the Temple Mount?’, and ‘What are you going to do for the sake of the Temple Mount?’ After that he asked me to relate to him an insight about the week’s Torah portion and with that the interrogation ended.” The claims in the letter of complaint describe illegal conduct by the police and violation of the rights of the detainees The claims include violation of freedom of movement and detention without just cause. Their right to privacy was violated when they were forced to relieve themselves with the bathroom door open. Also in the complaint filed by Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, they stated that their cell phones were taken from them without authorization, the GSS interrogation they underwent was conducted without the requisite conditions and without them being informed that they were not obligated to agree to be interrogated. Y. related his impressions of the incident: “I think that this was abuse for the sake of abuse. The Arab who entered the site with us told the policeman that he had brought us. What was all this for? It [Friday] is a short day, my mom was very worried and the policeman hung up the phone on her when she called to see how I was doing. I have no other way to define it: Abuse for the sake of abuse. Apparently what the police want is for as many Jews as possible not to visit these sites, and if they do, they could be detained. I look hareidi and I think that if I looked secular, Arab or Christian, I would not have gone through all this.” Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado: “The law enforcement authorities, the police and the GSS, must enforce the law and work towards maintaining security reasonably and according to law. In this instance the above mentioned authorities breached the limits of the law and the guidelines, causing a serious violation of the complainants’ rights, both as individuals and as representatives of the right and freedom of a Nation to walk through the Old City of Jerusalem and look out at the Temple Mount.”

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