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Detained youths held by GSS under harsh conditions

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 10:05 An indictment was filed on the morning of Sunday, April 23 at the Be’er Sheva District Court against five local Jewish youths who are suspected of assaulting Arabs in several incidents in Be’er Sheva over the past few months. Some of the incidents were mutual assaults in which the Arabs assaulted the defendants. Honenu Attorneys Sima Kochav and Avichai Hajbi are representing some of the defendants. The defendants, some of whom are minors, were interrogated under harsh conditions over a period of weeks by the GSS. Some of the defendants were prohibited for an extended period of time from meeting with an attorney. With the filing of the indictment the blanket gag order that had been placed on the case while the youths were under interrogation at GSS facilities was lifted. The youths, all of them Be’er Sheva residents, told Honenu about their long and harsh interrogations in the GSS facilities for durations of many days. One of the youths tried to take his own life due to the pressure. Honenu Attorney Sima Kochav: “It is sad that in the State of Israel-2017 youths entered interrogations while healthy and after several days with the GSS required medication, one of them after a suicide attempt. The interrogations trampled upon human rights, including illegal use of force, preventing meeting with an attorney, and more. It appears that when Jews are suspected of clashes with Arabs, rights are forgotten, judicial proceedings are trampled, and we discover new rules in detention law. Someone marked a goal and all means to that end are acceptable. I am worried first of all as a citizen and then also as an attorney. We will study the investigative material and respond to the accusations.” Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi: “It seems that the basic rights of detainees are blocked by the iron doors of the GSS dungeons. Every basic right granted by law to my client was violated during the interrogations, including being prevented from speaking with me. Over the next few days the investigative material will be revealed to us and we will respond to the accusations in the customary ways.”

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