Discriminatory handling of protest sign

Updated: Apr 5

See here for a list of posts connected to the Ahuvia Sandak case.

Ahuvia Sandak, z”l; Photo courtesy of the family

Thursday, January 28, 2021, 12:52 On the night of Wednesday, January 27, a Tzfat resident was detained on suspicion of involvement with putting up a protest sign at the entrance to Bat Ayin and interrogated on suspicion of making threats, damaging property, and disturbing a policeman in the line of duty. The following day, at a Jerusalem Magistrates Court deliberation, the police filed a plaintiff’s affidavit requesting that the detainee be remanded for an additional four days. The court rejected the request and ordered the detainee released to house arrest. Judge Oren Silverman wrote in his decision that the aspect of freedom of expression must be considered. A Honenu Attorney represented the detainee. See here for a similar incident involving a Yitzhar resident two weeks previously. The sign was placed to mark 30 days since the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, a Bat Ayin resident. Ahuvia was killed in a police car chase and the sign protests the conduct of the policemen involved with the incident. The wording, which resembled the signs the IDF places at the entrances to Areas A and B throughout Yehuda and Shomron read: “You are damaging the security of the community’s residents. You murdered one of our children. Upon your entry you endanger yourselves! You have been warned! This road leads to the community of Bat Ayin. Police not admitted.” Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar: “This was an outrageous detention. Once again there was unequal law enforcement concerning an expression of protest. At Balfour [the protests opposite the Prime Minister’s residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem] there is no law enforcement at all. But with ‘settlers’ there is heavy-handed and brutal enforcement, voices are silenced and freedom of expression is blocked. Honenu: “With the ongoing grassroots protests against the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l – and there are grounds for defining it as murder – the Israeli Police have taken us back to dark days that we thought were already behind us. During the time of protests against the expulsion of thousands of Jews from Gush Katif, the police fought with the protesters in a manner contrary to all norms. As it was then, so it is today. Legitimate protests are leading to false detentions and also baseless and unprecedented indictments. Police Commissioner Ya’akov Shabtai and Public Security Minister Amir Ohana should be greatly disturbed by what is occurring during their terms. In the past few weeks we have been pleased that at least the majority of the courts are blocking the heavy-handedness of the police and time after time have rejected their unreasonable demands for keeping detainees in remand.”

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