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Minors describe brutal ISA interrogations

Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 8:17 On Sunday, July 10, the police and the ISA detained two 15-year old minors on suspicion of setting Arab cars on fire in Kfar Yafia in reaction to the terror attack at the Sarona Complex in Tel Aviv in which four Jews were murdered and others injured. According to an announcement by the ISA and the police the two minors admitted to carrying out the act. However once they were allowed to meet with their attorneys, they said that they had been aggressively interrogated. The minors told attorneys Elad Elimelech and Adi Kedar, who visited them on behalf of Honenu, about the intensive interrogation, during which, prima facie, the interrogators violated the law in general and also the Youth Law. Therefore the court will need to examine the admissibility of the minors’ admissions. The minors described to their attorneys what they endured during ISA interrogations. One minor told the attorneys that, “An interrogator grabbed my head and lifted me up,” and also that he was verbally abused, including being cursed, called a “terrorist” and threatened that he is “going to see what a real ISA interrogation is”. Additionally he was deprived of sleep for the first few nights of his remand, at which time he had not yet met with an attorney, until he admitted to the violation attributed to him. The interrogation during which he gave his admission lasted until the small hours of the night, in violation of the Youth Law. The second minor described similar treatment, including scathing and vulgar language directed towards him and his family by the interrogators. The interrogators lied to him and told him that the yeshiva at which he studies had been closed because of his detention, and would not be re-opened unless he admitted to the violation attributed to him. He said that, “One interrogator pulled my head back while another screamed in my ear. They threatened me by saying that if I didn’t confess then I wouldn’t be allowed to pray and I wouldn’t receive food.” Receiving other basic needs was also conditioned on admitting to the act. Additionally one of the interrogators spit at him and he was interrogated for long hours every day until he confessed. Following the minors’ descriptions of their interrogations Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar sent a sharply worded letter of complaint to the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police, which is handing the investigation of the case. Kedar demanded that the minors be examined by a doctor and a psychiatrist. One of the minors is suffering from insomnia as a result of the grueling interrogations. Another serious incident is described in a separate complaint. After they were allowed to meet with their attorneys, one of the minors requested the opportunity to state during interrogation his complaints on the humiliating treatment, violence and sleep deprivation which caused him to admit to the violation. According to the complaint filed by Kedar, after the minor stated his complaints, the interrogator from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police who interrogated him informed him that if he wanted his statements to be recorded, he would have to return to the ISA facility for interrogation by ISA interrogators. The minor, who feared returning to the ISA facility, asked the interrogator to delete his statements and not to document his complaints, and that is what he reports was done. “To my astonishment, according to my client, the interrogator did indeed delete the statements,” wrote Kedar. “However I am absolutely certain that the interrogator did not do so, because there is a clear and obvious requirement to document everything that occurs in interrogation rooms. Everything that happens, whatever it is, must be documented and described.”

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