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Complaint: Minor strip-searched without cause

Wednesday, May 10, 2017, 14:17 A complaint was filed with the Jerusalem Police District Commander against policemen who strip-searched an approximately 14-year old minor without cause. The complaint stated that on Sunday, April 9, at 5:30 A.M., policemen with a preventative detention warrant arrived at the minor’s home. The warrant was issued due to concerns that the minor intended to sacrifice a Passover sacrifice on the following day in Jerusalem. The policemen woke up the minor, handcuffed him, and took him to the Russian Compound in Jerusalem. At the police station the policemen allowed the minor to say morning prayers while handcuffed and then strip-searched him for no apparent reason. Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado wrote in the complaint that, “A plain-clothed policeman by the name of Liron Asbag ordered the complainant to strip. The complainant stripped according to instructions and remained in his boxer shorts only. The policeman demanded that the complainant also remove his boxer shorts and he refused. Then, without cause, the policeman body-searched the complainant in front of two border policemen who were present.” Yado continued, “The preventative detention was issued solely for ideological reasons and not due to violence [on the part of the complainant]. The complainant was taken from his home as he was sleeping. In this case there was no reason or reasonable cause or even an unreasonable cause to conduct a strip-search on the complainant. Numerous courts have handed down verdicts ruling that a strip-search, even down to boxer shorts, should not be conducted if there is not a reasonable concern that the suspect is concealing objects under his clothes.” Yado mentioned in the complaint that the handcuffing of a minor in a public place is illegal: “Handcuffing my client and taking him through a public place violated his rights, particularly because he is a minor. This is against orders. The Criminal Procedure Law (Powers of Enforcement – Arrests) 1996, paragraph 10b, orders against handcuffing a minor when there is an alternative. Handcuffing a minor in a public place is contrary also to Israeli Police Directive 12.03.09, the authority of a policeman to shackle a detainee in a public place.” Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “The Israeli Police have been violating the Attorney General’s Offics’s 2011 directive to define clearly the criteria for conducting strip-searches. This has not been done and is a prolonged failing which starts with the high command of the police and ends with thousands of strip-searches conducted over the past few years without clear criteria.”

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