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Peaceful demonstrators violently detained

Peaceful demonstration; Photo credit: Geulat Tzion B’Hazon u’VeMa’as

Peaceful demonstration; Photo credit: Geulat Tzion B’Hazon u’VeMa’as

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 14:27 Two Shilo Bloc residents were violently detained on Tuesday, September 24, as they took part in a quiet demonstration opposing the construction of an Arab city near Jewish communities in the Shilo Bloc. The detainees were released several hours later with an order distancing them from the site of the incident. A group of local residents organized the demonstration in protest of the illegal construction and the damage to the security of the area likely to be caused as a result. The demonstrators carried signs in protest of the construction and Rabbi Frank of the nearby community of Amichai gave a lecture. One of the detainees described the violent detention: Although the demonstrators sat on the ground, were not violent, and did not resist, they were attacked by border policemen who sprayed large amounts of tear gas in their faces at point-blank range. The detainees were taken to the police station before receiving any medical treatment and were not able to remove the tear gas from their faces. The detainee added that when they arrived at the police station the border policemen sat in the presence of the detainees and coordinated their accounts of the incident, which apparently did not convince the interrogator. The detainees were released after a short interrogation and given an order distancing them from only the site of the incident. Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who assisted the detained youths: “Deterring uncontrolled Arab construction adjacent to Jewish communities is legitimate. A group of local residents arrived to hear a lecture and to demonstrate and were assaulted by policemen. Two of the residents were sprayed with inordinate amounts of tear gas as they lay on the ground and did not show any signs of violent behavior. For many hours I was not allowed to give them legal counsel. There are many complaints against the officer who carried out this violent detention. We hope that the Police Investigation Unit will take care of the matter.”

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