GSS interrogated detainee’s relatives

Sunday, December 6, 2015, 9:34 The GSS is applying extreme pressure on a minor being held in remand for alleged involvement with the July 2015 Kfar Duma arson incident. Several of his relatives have been interrogated, apparently in an attempt to cause him to admit to acts which he did not commit. Honenu notes that interrogating a detainee’s relatives in order to pressure him into a false confession is an illegal step which received harsh criticism from the Israeli Supreme Court when the relatives of Arab terrorists were involved. On Thursday, December 3 police detectives from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police arrived at a hospital in the central region of Israel and searched for the detainee’s sister, a nurse. After questioning many nurses and demanding the work roster of the hospital staff, the detectives detained the detainee’s sister in the middle of her shift and confiscated her cellular phone. The detectives announced that they were taking her in for interrogation. However the hospital staff insisted that the nurse was in the middle of a shift and removing her was likely to lead to endangering lives. After half an hour the detectives decided to release the nurse, whom they summoned for interrogation the following day. Simultaneously, the Rechovot Police brought the detained minor’s aunt in for questioning and held her at the station for many hours. The police blocked Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi from entering the police station and meeting with her. Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi: “The GSS conduct continues to befit a third world country. They are not allowing an attorney to meet with the relatives of a detainee, even though it is obvious that there isn’t and wasn’t cause to suspect that allowing the detainee’s relatives to speak to an attorney would disrupt the investigation. It is obvious that the pressure and the improper methods used by the GSS is for one and only one purpose: to apply pressure on the detainees so that they will make false confessions.” The interrogations continued the following day. On Friday, December 4, three female relatives of one of the detainees being held by the GSS for alleged involvement with the Kfar Duma incident were interrogated for many hours and released very soon before the onset of Shabbat. They were not able to travel home before the onset of Shabbat and therefore were forced to spend Shabbat at the homes of relatives. Honenu’s assessment of the situation is that the interrogations are an attempt by the GSS to cause the detainees to admit to acts which they did not commit. In protest of the conduct of the GSS and the police, dozens of women demonstrated opposite the Ariel Police Station at which two of the detainee’s relatives were interrogated. On the night of Saturday, December 5, after Shabbat, a crowd of hundreds from throughout Israel demonstrated outside of the GSS facility in Petah Tikva in protest of the abuse of detainees and the violation of their rights. The detainees have not been allowed to meet with an attorney and some of them have not even been brought to court.

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