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GSS interrogators apply pressure on Jerusalem resident for confession on mosque arson

Wednesday, August 31 19:41 This morning “M”, an approximately 19-year old Jerusalem resident stood at a hitch-hiking stop in Kiryat Arba when suddenly a vehicle driven by Yassam (Special Forces) Police stopped. They demanded that “M” present his identification card and told him that he is wanted for interrogation by the GSS. “M” was taken to the Hevron Police Station, where he was interrogated for approximately five hours by three GSS agents. The interrogators claimed that he had set a mosque on fire in the village of Bayt Fajr approximately one year ago. “M” denied all charges and refused to cooperate with the GSS agents. For approximately five hours two GSS interrogators, “Ro’i”, who interrogated the two Yitzhar detainees held by the GSS approximately two weeks ago, and “Elchanan”, who until recently served as the coordinator for the Jewish Department of the GSS in the Har Hevron area, attempted to cause “M” to link himself to the arson incident. Additionally a security guard for the two interrogators was present in the room. After he was released “M” told Honenu that “Elchanan” played the role of the “good cop”, offering him food and drink, whereas “Ro’i” played the role of the “bad cop”, yelling and threatening him. “M” reported that during the entire process of interrogation the GSS agents did not present a single piece of evidence linking him to the arson incident that occurred approximately one year ago, rather they attempted to show him that they know everything about him and that “the case is fixed”, according to them. During the interrogation an interrogator from the Hevron police entered and asked the GSS interrogators if he should bring an additional detainee into the room, a Hevron resident who was supposedly arrested. The GSS agent told the police interrogator to bring the “detainee” into the room and told “M” that his arrested friends have already talked about him and said that he was the one who set the mosque on fire. After the fact it became apparent that it had been an interrogatory trick intended to apply pressure on “M” to confess to what he hadn’t done. There was no other detainee, and certainly no-one who talked about “M”. After the GSS interrogators understood that “M” refused to cooperate with them and link himself to the mosque arson incident, they called “M”’s father and asked that he convince his son to speak to them. The father refused and informed Honenu that his son had been arrested. The GSS interrogators refused “M”’s requests to speak to Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, which is a violation of the law. During the interrogation the interrogators presented “M” with the names of several of his friends, from whom the interrogators recommended that he distance himself because they are dangerous people. After approximately five hours “M” was released, not before he was warned that the GSS “is keeping a close watch on him” and that he should be careful not do anything stupid. “M” said that he had a picture of the Admor of Piaseczno in his wallet. According to “M” the GSS interrogators were very interested in the identity of the mysterious rabbi and implored him over and over again to reveal his name. After he was released “M” revealed the name of the Admor. Currently “M”’s friends are concerned that the investigators from the Jewish Department of the GSS will attempt to arrest the Admor of Piaseczno also on suspicion of the mosque arson. Honenu attorney Kedar reported in response to the conduct of the GSS that, “I am astonished each time anew by the desperate operative methods of the GSS, who attempt to incriminate the innocent out of despair of their lack of clues. The GSS interrogators should conduct interrogations legally and according to norms.” Sources close to “M” reported that “The GSS is attempting a process of threats on innocent people who haven’t committed any crime. The attempts of the GSS to incriminate the innocent under the guise of maintaining the law will not succeed. We hope that Knesset Members Eldad and Ariel of the National Union party will work to control their neighbor.”

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