Pride March protester compensated, police policy revealed
Honenu has represented many citizens whose fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of protest, have been violated with regard to pride marches. Please click here for a list of relevant posts.
Tuesday, January 3, 2023, 16:24 The Jerusalem Small Claims Court awarded 8,000 NIS in compensation to a Jewish youth falsely detained on the day of the 2021 Jerusalem Pride March.
On June 3, 2021, the Jewish youth was on his way to a legal and authorized demonstration protesting the Pride March when an undercover policeman approached him and asked him to identify himself. The youth identified himself, and then the policeman asked him what he was doing. After the brief questioning, the policeman decided to bring him into the police station. At the station, he was searched, detained without cause for several hours, until the Pride March was over, and then released. On behalf of the youth, Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel filed a complaint with the police about the baseless detention and interrogation.
In his ruling, Judge Teddi Erez wrote, "The conduct of the defendant in this instance did not meet the necessary standard. The defendant did not present a reasonable foundation for suspecting that the claimant was about to commit a crime that would endanger human well-being or public peace. Therefore, the detention was illegal. … The defendant must pay compensation to the claimant."
Judge Erez continued, "The defendant did not present an organized account of the grounds on which he decided to detain [the claimant] on suspicion of committing a crime. All this indicates that there had not been actual justification for the detention, certainly not at the level of high probability." Judge Erez awarded the youth 7,500 NIS, a large sum of compensation relative to the maximum possible, and also 500 NIS for legal expenses.
Eladi Weisel: "We welcome the decision by the court to compensate the claimant for the violation of his rights when he was taken to the police station through no fault of his own, only because he wanted to legally protest the Pride March. The claimant was falsely detained and his freedom of expression was violated. This decision follows a series of rulings that indicate that the practice the police use on protesters is faulty and illegal. The court cited that the police have a policy according to which protesters should be held at the station until the end of the Pride March, even after all interrogative and investigative procedures have been completed. The only purpose of the remand is to deprive detainees of the right to protest. This is an unjustified and illegal violation of the freedom of expression, which is a fundamental and infinitely important right in a country governed by civil laws. We call on the Israel Police to internalize the repeated rulings, adhere to the law, and immediately stop the systematic violation of freedom to protest of those who oppose the Pride March."