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Detainees released to house arrest, police appealed

Monday, August 17, 2015, 16:28 The Petah Tikva Magistrate Court ordered two Jewish youths who were detained on Thursday, August 13 on suspicion of arson, to be released to house arrest. The details of the investigation are under a gag order. Both youths were detained by the GSS and are being held in harsh conditions, including being banned from meeting with an attorney. On Sunday, August 16 their remand was extended by one day and the following day the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court accepted Honenu attorney Chai Haber’s pleas and ruled that there was no cause to further extend their remand. Nonetheless the court ordered a delay in carrying out the decision because the police filed an appeal with the district court demanding that the detainees remain in remand. Three deliberations on the case are scheduled for the afternoon of Monday, August 17 at the Lod District Court. One deliberation is on the appeal filed by Honenu on the remand extension of an adult detained in the same case. The second deliberation is on the appeal to cancel the ban on meeting with an attorney issued by the GSS to all three detainees. The third deliberation is on the appeal on the demand by the police to overturn the decision to release the two minors to house arrest. All three of the detainees have complained of very harsh conditions during GSS interrogations. One of the minors claimed in court that a policeman from the Central Unit of Police beat him. The other minor said that he was kept awake for 24 hours straight. Additionally only due to intervention by the court were the youths allowed to put on tefilin and were their tzitzit returned to them after having been taken away from them when they were brought to the GSS detention center. Honenu attorney Chai Haber, who represented the detainees, said in response that, “The court thoroughly examined the material and did not find any evidence linking the minors to the incident attributed to them. It seems that the GSS is taking advantage of the public atmosphere in order to carry out false detentions and use unacceptable means on innocent youths. The ban on meeting with an attorney placed on them is a severe and heavy handed step which is meant only to break their spirits. I hope that the court will put an end to this.”

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