Updated: Jan 3
Since the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, who was tragically killed in a police car chase on Tevet 6 5781/ December 21, 2020, Honenu has been representing those who are insisting on the investigation of the incident and defending the many who are detained while demonstrating for change in police behavior. The car Ahuvia was in with four other boys overturned when the police car collided with it from behind. Please click here for a list of posts connected to the case.
Friday, December 30, 2022, 13:39 Last night (Thursday), during a demonstration at the String Bridge in Jerusalem marking two years since the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z"l, the police detained four minors on various charges. Demonstrators reported police brutality at the scene. Honenu Attorney Nati Rom assisted the detainees, among them a 14-year-old youth whose rights were violated during his detention.
The police held the youth in remand overnight and brought him to a court hearing the following morning. They also asked the court to conditionally extend his remand by five days. During the hearing at the Jerusalem District Juvenile Court, the police representative admitted that the purpose of the detention was to stop the demonstrations that were being held under the banner "Justice for Ahuvia". The police representative also said that the police want to prevent the youth from participating in future demonstrations.
During the hearing, Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is representing the youth, turned to the police representative and asked him why they needed to keep the youth overnight at the station. The response was that the police were waiting for a representative from the office of the State Attorney. During the hearing, Rom enumerated the legal violations that the police had committed during the detention and noted that the detainee was 14-year-old youth whose father was not allowed to accompany him at the interrogation, and that the youth, a minor, was handcuffed and leg-cuffed against the law.
Later in the hearing, Rom related to the statement by the police representative that the purpose of the detention was to stop the demonstrations at the site. Rom: "My friend [referring to the policeman] said that the only purpose for the [remand] request was to stop the demonstrations at the entrance to the city at the String Bridge. This is a severe violation of freedom of expression. [The police] should deal with crimes associated with participation in rioting only. My client is a law-abiding citizen. … He adamantly denies attacking a policewoman. It is amazing to see that when 30 police officers encounter a 14-year-old youth, he is immediately accused of attacking a policeman."
In his decision, Jerusalem Juvenile Court Judge Yaron Mientkavich stated that his impression was that level of reasonable suspicion against the youth was low and that the only thing connecting the youth to the incident was that his first name is similar to that of another suspect. Later, Judge Mientkavich leveled criticism at the police and said that in this situation, one must regret that the respondent spent a night in remand until it was decided to release him. In light of this, Judge Mientkavich decided to unconditionally release the youth, contrary to the request from the police.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who represented the youth, stated, "Unfortunately, the Israel Police detained a 14-year-old youth, once again violating the law and not allowing a minor's parent to be present during his interrogation, as the law requires. Likewise, the police left him at the police station, without any justification, in violation of his rights. We are pleased that the court ruled that 'one must regret that the respondent spent a night in remand ' and released him unconditionally and immediately."