Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado; Photo credit: Honenu
Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 12:30 A youth, A., who was detained and summoned for interrogation without grounds due to a police error, has been awarded 5,000 NIS in compensation. Approximately two years ago, A. was detained at a demonstration opposite the home of then GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Nadav Padan, protesting his intent to issue an administrative order to a Yitzhar resident. The protesters, who reported abuse by police during the demonstration, demanded that the practice of issuing administrative orders to hilltop community residents be immediately stopped. Two protesters, one of them A., were detained. A. sued the police.
The statement of claim describes the incident: “During selichot prayers, which were held during the demonstration, two policemen approached my client, grabbed him by his shirt and his payot, pulled him off to the side, handcuffed and leg-cuffed him, and approximately a quarter of an hour later, loaded him into a police car. From there he was taken to the Modi’in Police Station, where he was left handcuffed and leg-cuffed.”
After an hour, A. was given a summons to interrogation on the following day. He was not presented with the reason for his detention. “A. was released at approximately 1:45 at night, and forced to find his way back to his car. Due to the lateness of the hour and the lack of available transportation, he was forced to walk for approximately two hours in order to reach his car.”
When A. arrived the following day at the police station, as he was summoned to do, he was surprised to discover that the police had made an error. “He was released to his home without being interrogated,” added Yado.
In his ruling, Judge Ofir Yehezkel stated that the process of A.’s detention was fundamentally deficient and raises a suspicion that it was carried out illegally. “The Israeli Police did not provide any explanation whatsoever for their conduct regarding the summons to interrogation, for what purpose [A.] was summoned, and why it was decided in the end not to interrogate him. The time of the complainant is not without value, and there are no grounds to summon someone [for a later time] after they were held in a police station until a late hour without any intent to interrogate them.”
Judge Yehezkel added, “Moreover, it is not at all possible to determine that the complainant was indeed detained out of a reasonable suspicion of violating an administrative order, and what the grounds for the detention were, and if it was carried out according to law. And when it is not possible to determine the integrity of a detention, then it is also not possible to determine that the detention was carried out according to law. Therefore I award 5,000 NIS in compensation to the complainant.”
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado welcomed the decision: “We will continue to insist that the right to protest and the right to freedom of movement be upheld. This ruling is an example of the purpose of the work we do every day.”