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Police to compensate illegally handcuffed minors

Thursday, January 31, 2019, 10:09 The police will pay 4,500 NIS in compensation to two minors who were illegally handcuffed and imprisoned. The minors were handcuffed in an illegal manner, in public places and one of them was remanded in the same room as adults. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “The detainees were humiliated and their rights were violated. We hope that the compensation will somewhat rectify the injustice and that the lessons will be learned.” Recently a compromise agreement was reached between the Israeli Police and Honenu, who are representing several minors who were illegally handcuffed and imprisoned. They were detained during the destruction of the Maginei Aretz outpost near the community of Har Bracha. The compromise agreement states that the Israeli Police will pay the minors 4,500 NIS which will be divided between them and Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who represented the petitioners. Several months ago Attorney Bleicher filed a 30,000 NIS suit with the Jerusalem Magistrates Court against the Israeli Police for emotional distress, humiliation, and violation of the dignity of the minors and their rights due to their being handcuffed in public. In the case of one of the minors, who was held in remand with adult detainees, the charges include violation of his sense of security. One of the minors, who was detained for filming the destruction of a house at the outpost when the site was under a closed military zone order, stated that he was taken by policemen while his arms were handcuffed behind his back for a long period of time and only when he was loaded into the police car did they move his arms to front handcuffing. Additionally, he was taken into interrogation while he was handcuffed, in violation of the Youth Law, and was also remanded for five hours with four adults. The following day when the minors were brought to court the problematic conduct of the police continued. The minors waited handcuffed in the courtroom for a long period of time, contrary to the law which forbids handcuffing minors in public. As they were waiting the father of one of the minors arrived and asked the policeman why his son was illegally handcuffed. The policeman guarding the minors replied, “I don’t owe you explanations. If you think that it’s not OK, there’s the PIU [Police Investigation Unit] in Jerusalem. Go to the PIU and tell them that your son’s in handcuffs.” During the deliberation on the minor’s remand extension, Judge Erez Melamed ruled that the police had not followed the provisions of the Youth Law and therefore he decided to release the minor from remand: “It is expected that the investigating unit be particular to follow the provisions of the law, and among them not to allow a minor to be held with adults and not to interrogate minors while they are handcuffed.” Recently a compromise agreement was reached between the police and the plaintiffs. The sides went to court in order for it to receive, beyond the letter of the law, the compromise agreement between them. According to the agreement, signing on it is not an admission that either side is correct or that claims made in the plaintiff’s affidavit are correct. Also the plaintiffs are obligated not to sue the police, or any other authority connected to the incident, again with regards to any matter connected to this incident. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who represented the minors, stated that, “This was another instance of the violation of the rights of detainees and their humiliation by being handcuffed in a public space. All this was despite the father of one of the plaintiffs informing the policemen a number of times that what they were doing was not legal, and receiving a disparaging response. “We hope that the compensation will somewhat rectify the injustice and more than that we expect that the lessons will be learned and the rights of detainees will be upheld, even when the detainees have acted for the sake of the Land of Israel.”

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