Minor in Duma case: “I want to return to normal life”
A. outside of the Ayalon Prison; Photo credit: Free use
Monday, December 21, 2020, 13:06 On Monday, December 21, A., the minor who was tortured while being interrogated during the investigation of the Kfar Duma arson attack, entered prison of his own volition, despite an appeal on his sentence being judged in the Supreme Court. When he entered the Ayalon Prison, A. issued a statement to the media: “I underwent very severe torture. [The interrogators] harmed me emotionally and physically. They caused me post-traumatic stress that I will always carry with me. After legal proceedings we succeeded in having my false confessions invalidated and the court accepted our opinion that I had been tortured. “The General Security Service (GSS) and the Attorney General’s office continued their attempts to harm me any way they could. Even after two years of recuperation, after one year of a pre-military program and group therapy with the Youth Probation Service – serious rehabilitation – the GSS and the Attorney General’s office are still persecuting me. And despite the desire of the court to have it all end with community service, they are insisting on a prison sentence.” A. explained why he chose to start fulfilling the penalty even though his appeal is still being judged by the Supreme Court: “I decided that after five years of being tortured by the legal process, I had taken enough abuse. I have no more strength for it. I want to be finished with it. I want to return to normal life and start a family. I am entering prison out of my own free will, despite the appeal currently being judged in the Supreme Court. I hope that the Supreme Court will accept the appeal, will see what I have gone through, and either lighten the penalty or commute it to community service. “I hope that everyone involved with this case will see the suffering and the torture that we [defendants in the Duma case] underwent, myself and other people, and I hope that truth and justice will come to light.” The Central District Court in Lod sentenced A. to three and a half years in prison, of which he already served approximately two and a half years while he was being held in remand until the end of the legal proceedings at the beginning of the trial. Approximately ten months of the sentence remain. During the next few months the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the appeal filed by A. against the conviction of being a member of a terror organization and also against the severity of the penalty. A. was the first Jewish minor tortured in the GSS facilities. Together with A., Amiram Ben Uliel underwent severe torture. The Central District Court in Lod ruled that all of A.’s false confessions which were extracted from him under extreme duress are invalid but invalidated only some of Ben Uliel’s confessions that were extracted from him under “extreme duress”, a euphemism for torture. Currently the Supreme Court is judging an appeal filed by Ben Uliel. The appeal demands that the Supreme Court invalidate all of his confessions due to the torture he underwent while under interrogation and order his complete exoneration in the case. Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing A.: “On this day, exactly five years ago, a serious event befell Israel: A Jew was severely tortured in the GSS dungeons. After a legal struggle, the court accepted his claims and ruled that the minor was severely physically and emotionally harmed and invalidated his confessions. Despite this important decision and a significant correction to the bill of indictment, the Attorney General’s office and the GSS continue to persecute the minor. Also, after the court was dramatically impressed by the exceptional recuperation of the minor, who participated in workshops and therapy groups, and even attended a pre-military program, the court wanted to impose on him a penalty of community service, but the State of Israel, the Attorney General’s office and the GSS opposed the decision and thwarted the proceedings. “Today he unfortunately began a prison term, albeit a short one. But I am certain that within approximately a month, while the court is judging [the appeal], we will convince the court of the need to do justice and end this sad case with a more lenient penalty, thereby putting an end to the case.” Since the July 2015 arson attack on the Dawabshe family’s house in Kfar Duma, Honenu has assisted many Jews accused of involvement with the crime. For a selection of posts describing Honenu Attorneys’ representation of defendants and GSS interrogatees, see here. To familiarize our readers with the case, Honenu has gathered – see here – various articles and short videos on the subject.