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Indictment canceled against youth protesting release of terrorists

Sunday, August 17, 2014, 11:49 Approximately six months ago Y., a yeshiva student studying in Jerusalem, was detained during a demonstration held on Kanfei Nesharim Street in Jerusalem protesting the release of 26 terrorists as a gesture by the Israeli government in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Y. was released on the same day that he was detained, however several weeks later he was informed that the police filed an indictment against him claiming that he had disturbed a policeman in the line of duty. According to the indictment filed by the Israeli Police, Y. disturbed a policeman by calling out to demonstrators, “Come on. Don’t be afraid of them. Step down to the middle of the street.” According to the indictment due to his call Y. was detained and he also resisted detention and attempted to escape from the policeman who was holding him. The statute with which he was charged was “disturbing a policeman in the line of duty,” and the prosecution announced that it was likely that they would demand an active jail sentence if he was convicted of the charge. Recently, after receiving legal advice from Honenu, Y. arrived at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court in order to hear a reading of his indictment. However in court Y. was surprised to discover that the police had decided already at the beginning of legal proceedings to retract the indictment. “Freedom of expression is one of the important values of the State of Israel, however there are limits to freedom of expression. To call on people to step down from the sidewalk and enter the street in order to block the street crosses one of the limits,” stated Areyeh Brand, the attorney who represented the Israeli Police. “With that, I take into consideration that apparently the defendant was in a state of extreme enthusiasm and he is a young man with no criminal record, and therefore we request that the indictment be canceled,” announced Brand to Judge Chen Avital, who accepted the request and ordered that the indictment be canceled. Honenu, whose staff assisted Y. at the time of his detention and throughout the legal proceedings against him, responded: “We are pleased that the prosecution understood already at the beginning of the legal proceedings that there was no cause to hold a trial against someone who only expressed a legitimate objection to releasing terrorists.”

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