Despite police demands all detained demonstrators released
Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 21:03 On Wednesday, July 2 the 12 remaining demonstrators, out of nearly 50 detained during protests in Jerusalem on July 1, were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court. The police requested a three day remand extension on nine of them. The Attorney General’s office filed an indictment against three others and demanded their release to house arrest until the end of proceedings against them. At the end of a long day of deliberations all of the detainees were released to their homes after the court accepted the pleas of attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represented the detainees on behalf of Honenu. Most of the detainees arrived in court bruised and beaten. By agreement with the police the court first released a citizen of France detained at the protest who was scheduled to fly to France for medical treatment the following day. Next to be released was an 18 year-old detainee whom a police officer claimed had assaulted an Arab. The police acknowledged that no-one claimed that he had been assaulted but despite that, the police requested a remand extension on the detainee. Judge Sharon Larry-Bavli, who presided over the cases of all of the detainees, ordered his release in lieu of 1,500 NIS bail. A minor who was intensively beaten by police was brought before the judge. He was suspected of assaulting a policeman but Judge Larry-Bavli ruled that there is no evidence in his investigatory file of assaulting a policeman, only of resisting arrest and insulting a public servant. She ordered his unconditional release and refused to delay carrying out the decision ruling that, “There is no cause for delaying carrying out [the decision] in the case of a minor who is beaten, exhausted and requires medical treatment for his injuries.” Adult detainees who were suspected of causing damage to property were unconditionally released despite the police request to extend their remand. An additional adult was released to a week of house arrest. The remand of three youths suspected of assaulting Arabs in the Nahalat Shiv’a neighborhood of Jerusalem was extended until 21:00. The youths were not identified in a police line-up and had been unconditionally released in the afternoon after police operations did not yield a basis for the suspicion against them. The Jerusalem District Attorney’s office filed indictments against three minors for assaulting policemen and disorderly conduct and requested their release to house arrest until the end of proceedings against them. Judge Larry-Bavli released two of them to house arrest until the Youth Probation Service issues an expert opinion. She unconditionally released the third after ruling that the evidence against him was weak to the point of being virtually nonexistent. The Attorney General’s office formally acknowledged that they are requesting severe conditions for the release of the detainees out of concern that additional disturbances will occur throughout the country in protest of the murder of the three kidnapped youths. The following is an excerpt from the request for remand filed by the Attorney General’s office: “The danger posed by the defendants is greater due to the tense atmosphere and in recognition of the ensuing tension from the kidnapping and its grave results. The actions of the defendants and others who behaved as they did exacerbate the tension and its consequences during this sensitive time and in circumstances in which there is an increased danger to public peace and security.” Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represented the detainees on behalf of Honenu said, “Most of the detainees arrived [in court] bruised and beaten. It is obvious that the police conducted themselves illegally. I hope that the Attorney General’s office and the police internalize the message of the court and cease detaining citizens over incidents involving freedom of expression. People have the right to protest, to shout and to yell. It would be better if the police dealt with the rioting in Shuafat and Beit Hanina and did not detain Jewish youth for protesting.” In response to the wave of detentions on July 1 which included close to 50 detainees and to the conduct of the police and the Attorney General’s office Honenu calls on the police and the Attorney General’s office to join the exemplary unity which Jews have experienced during the past few weeks, and to cease causing divisions by singling out Jews to detain in large numbers. It is sad to see that during the hours when the Jewish People brought the murdered youths to their final rest, the police chose to conduct themselves violently particularly with Jews who protested the security situation.