Monday, October 12, 2015, 10:46 At dawn on the morning of Friday, October 9, the police detained a Petah Tikva resident in his 30’s on suspicion of posting remarks critical of Arabs in WhatsApp groups following the recent stabbing attack in Petah Tikva in which a Jew was injured. The detainee was brought to a deliberation at the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court. Initially the police demanded that the court ban him from entering all mosques, monasteries and churches in the State of Israel and place him under house arrest for 10 days. In light of the pleas by Honenu attorney Yuval Zemer, who represented the detainee, and criticism by the court, during the deliberation the police retracted the demand to ban the detainee from monasteries and churches, but still demanded that the detainee remain under a lengthy house arrest. In the end the judge accepted Zemer’s position almost in its entirety and ordered the detainee released on condition of a 500 NIS bond to ensure that he would appear for interrogation if he is ever summoned. During the course of the deliberation it became known that the detaining policemen refused to allow the detainee to take his tallit and tefilin from his home. At the police station the police also refused to allow him to pray or lay tefilin, despite the fact that he is religious. Honenu attorney Yuval Zemer: “This was a completely unjustifiable detention, the entire purpose of which was to exert disproportionate force on Jews whose only ‘crime’ is their desire to non-violently protest the lack of security prevalent over the past few days during which Jews were murdered on city streets throughout Israel. “There is a reason why the court accepted our pleas and rejected the police demand, which did not have even a scrap of evidence to support it. It seemed as if the detention was a sort of preventative action, which is illegal.” Zemer added that he intends to file a damages suit for false detention on behalf of the detainee.
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