Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 14:40 Haifa Magistrates Court Judge Revital Baum awarded Tom Nisani, the National Activist Coordinator of Im Tirtzu, 9,000 NIS in compensation for violation of his rights by the police as he protested outside of a conference marking Naqba Day that was open only to Arabs in May 2017 (on Israeli Independence Day) on the Haifa University campus. A policeman who was summoned to the site distanced Nisani from the protest, violated his freedoms of expression and protest, prevented him from documenting his detention, brutally detained him and afterwards concealed the goings-on from the sight of his friends and their cameras. Nisani sued the police over violation of his freedoms of expression, protest and movement, and over false detention, false imprisonment, and assault. After the incident the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) did take disciplinary action against the policeman. However he was tried before a sole judge, not a disciplinary court on which jurists sit, ruled to have acted properly, and exonerated from the disciplinary violation which had been attributed to him. The decision of the Haifa Magistrates Court contradicts the decision by the PIU after the disciplinary procedure and ruled that in fact there was “a violation of the right of the plaintiff to demonstrate a quiet and non-violent protest, a violation of his freedom of expression, illegally distancing him from the conference, a demand to not film the incident, lowering the blind of the office window so that there would not be evidence of what occurred in the room. Also for the detention of the plaintiff and leaving him overnight in remand… I reason that the defendant is obligated to compensate the plaintiff.” Judge Baum specified that there was no justification for distancing Nisani from the site of the protest, there were no grounds for the demand by the policeman for Nisani to stop filming, there in fact was a scuffle between the policeman and Nisani in the closed room, there were no grounds for the detention of Nisani, and for all of that the police are obligated to compensate him.
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