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GSS violates rights of right-wing interrogatees

Wednesday, December 25, 2019, 12:07 Recently Honenu filed a petition with the High Court of Justice against the General Security Service (GSS), stating that the GSS had deprived right-wing activists who were under interrogation of elementary rights, among them the right to refuse to report for interrogation, the right to know that whatever is said in the interrogation will not be used against them in court, and more. The petition mentions that approximately two years ago, in the framework of a petition filed by Arabs and left-wing organizations, the High Court of Justice outlined a legal method of interrogating ideological activists who are not suspected of a connection to carrying out a crime. According to the guidelines of the High Court of Justice, the GSS coordinators must inform interrogatees that they are not obligated to report for interrogation, they are not obligated to cooperate, and that the interrogation is voluntary, because it is not in relation to a specific crime committed. Honenu claims that, unfortunately, the rules outlined by the High Court of Justice, for the benefit of all interrogatees, are not properly implemented, at least not when Jewish interrogatees are concerned. In this specific instance the subject of the petition is a petitioner who was walking in the Old City of Jerusalem and invited by the caretaker of a local school to enter the site when there was no activity at all going on and to, for a fee, enjoy the view of the Temple Mount from an observation point. The Jewish youth agreed, paid the caretaker, entered the building and after leaving the observation point was surprised to find himself surrounded by policemen, who detained him for many hours at the police station, including for a conversation with the GSS. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who filed the petition, stated that the GSS coordinators who interrogated the youth did not inform him that he was not obligated to cooperate with the interrogation, contrary to the guidelines set by the High Court of Justice for GSS interrogatees. Despite that, the office of the Attorney General backed the prohibited action and therefore the petition was filed. Yado: “The petition is designed to push back the dangerous trend of increasing the power of the GSS while violating the rights of citizens. Unfortunately this trend receives the backing of the Attorney General, who gives less weight to the rights of the individual when right-wing activists are involved, and increases and strengthens the power of the GSS.”

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