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Rabbis demand investigation of Kfar Duma case torture

Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 11:34 On the morning of Tuesday, June 5, dozens of prominent rabbis, including yeshiva heads, turned to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, demanding that the legal proceedings in the Kfar Duma case be stopped and that an investigative committee be founded. The grounds for the demand are the torture which the defendants in the case underwent in order to extract from them forced confessions. Excerpt of the letter, translation by Honenu: “Prime Minister, Justice Minister… In light of the shocking information concerning the torture of youths in order to extract from them confessions of their involvement with the Kfar Duma incident, and the severe indictments filed against them based on those confessions, we demand that the legal proceedings against them cease immediately, and that an independent investigative committee be founded in order to examine these grave accusations.” Please see below a complete list of the signatory rabbis. On April 16, the families of the defendants in the Kfar Duma case revealed that during the closing statements stage of the first segment of the trial, which took place on March 15, the Central District Attorney’s office announced in an unprecedented step that they would withdraw from use several of the defendants’ confessions. The confessions were given during interrogations in which “special means”, a euphemism referring to torture, were used on the defendants. A source in the legal system well acquainted with the case explained that “The meaning of the announcement by the Central District Attorney’s office to the court, is the understanding that in light of the circumstances under which the confessions were given by the defendants, it is impossible to render them judicially valid. This is an upheaval. The Attorney General’s office is essentially standing opposite the court and admitting that in this case interrogations were conducted that brought the defendants to make statements and confessions that were not out of free will, as is mandatory by law.” The Attorney General’s office also submitted a request to the court to recognize the torture used during interrogation as legal. Attorney Tzion Amir, who is representing the minor in the case, stated that, “I hope very much that one day the matters which arose during the trial within a trial, the facts and the details [which arose] during the testimonies and the interrogations of everyone, especially the GSS agents, will be revealed. The public should be very deeply shocked by how the interrogation of a minor who was not charged with murder, but rather with a charge connected to the murder, was conducted, and also by the manner in which the interrogation was conducted, completely by torture, violent means in various forms and by various methods. This matter shakes one to the core. It is impossible to come to terms with an interrogation conducted in this matter in a democratic society. I hope very much that in the end the court will state its piece concerning these fundamental issues.”

Complete list of the signatory rabbis: Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron Rabbi Zalmen Baruch Melamed, Head of the Beit El Yeshiva and Rabbi of Beit El Bet Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron Rabbi Zalmen Baruch Melamed, Head of the Beit El Yeshiva and Rabbi of Beit El Bet Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, Head of the Derech Chaim movement and Gal Einai Rabbi Meir Mazuz, Head of the Kisei Rachamim Yeshiva, Bnei Brak Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Rabbi of Elon Moreh and Head of Yeshivat Elon Moreh Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Head of the Temple Institute Rabbi David Druckman, Rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin Rabbi Micah HaLevi, Rabbi of Petah Tikva Rabbi Gideon Perl, Rabbi of Elon Shevut Rabbi Yerachmiel Weiss, Jerusalem Rabbi Shmuel Shapira, Rabbi of Kochav Yair Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, Rabbi of Har Bracha and the author of Peninei Halakhah Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, Head of Yeshivat Ramat Gan Rabbi Simcha Shtatner, Yeshivat Nahalat Yisrael Rabbi Shmuel Tal, Head of the Torah Chaim institutions,Yad Binyamin Rabbi Shmuel David, Rabbi of Afula Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi, Rabbi of Karnei Shomron Rabbi Azariel Ariel, Rabbi of Ateret Rabbi Elchanan Ben Nun, Rabbi of Shilo Rabbi Menasheh Yissachar, Rabbi of Peduel Rabbi Menachem Perl, Head of the Tzomet Institute Rabbi Yigal Kaminetzky,Head of the Torah U’Medinah Center, Nitzan Rabbi Ze’ev Vitman, Elon Shevut Rabbi Elisha Aviner, Head of Kollel Ma’aleh Adumim Rabbi Yair Shahor, Rabbi of Ma’eleh Levona Rabbi David Dudkevitch, Rabbi of Yitzhar and the Head of Yeshivat Ro’eh Yisrael Rabbi Gideon Binyamin, Rabbi of Nof Ayalon Rabbi Yoel Katan, Head of the Shlomo Aumann Institute, Yeshivat Sha’alvim Rabbi Shaul David Buchko, Head of Yeshivat Heichal Eliyahu, Kochav Ya’akov Rabbi Yaniv Chanina, Tzfat, Head of the Shoresh Project Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, Head of Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai Rabbi Yitzhak Sabato, Head of Yeshivat Mitzpeh Yericho Rabbi Ariel Bareli, Head of the Mishpat L’Am Institute, Sederot Rabbi Avraham Nachshon, Elad>Rabbi Mordechai Rabinowitz, Givat Assaf Rabbi Amichai Kinnarti, Yeshivat Itamar Rabbi Menachem Makover, Head of the V’Harenu B’Vinyano organization Rabbi Dr. David Mescheloff, Moshav Chemed Rabbi Uri Sadan, Rabbi of Moshav Nov Rabbi Ohad Krakover, Rabbi of Kokhav HaShahar Rabbi Yoel Manowitz, Head of Yeshibat HaGolan Rabbi Menachem Nueberger, Ofakim Rabbi Gur Galon, Head of Yeshivat Har Bracha Rabbi Shlomo Hecht, Beit Hillel Rabbi Giora Brenner, Givat Assaf, Head of Beit Midrash Hilchata, Rechovot Rabbi Ariel Shalom Alkobi, Head of Kollel Yad Shaul, Kokhav Ya’akov Rabbi Chiya Ben Hamo, Rabbi of Beit HaRambam, Modi’in Rabbi Nir Rosenberg, Rabbi of Einav Rabbi Natan Shalev, Rabbi of Mevo’ot Yericho and Head of the Chaim shel Tovah organization Rabbi Menachem Nubik, Rabbi of Maskiot Rabbi Uriel Eliyahu, Head of Kollel Dayanut ‘Karmei Mishpat’ Rabbi Chagai Bar Giora, Beit Shemesh Rabbi Yosifun, Netanya Rabbi Reuven Hiller, Hod HaSharon Rabbi Reuven Fierman, Machon Meir Rabbi Yair Frank, Rabbi of Amichai Rabbi Eliyahu HaEitan, Beit Shemesh, Machon Pu’ah Rabbi Aharon Cohen, Rabbi of Yakir Rabbi Shai Daum, Or HaTzafon, Tel Aviv Rabbi Ben-Tzion Ben Pazi, Yeshivat Yerushaliyim L’Tzeirim Rabbi No’am Shapira, Beit Sefer Torat HaNefesh Rabbi Shai Siminovsky, Yeshivat Homesh Rabbi Matanyia Yedid, Beit Orot, Orot College Rabbi Hillel Ben Shlomo, Yitzhar Rabbi Elchanan Lewis, Efrat Rabbi Ido Elba, Yeshivat Od Yosef Chai Rabbi Ya’akov Peleg, Ulpanat Talya Rabbi Shmuel Polachek, Beit Midrash Rosh Pina Rabbi Gadi Ben Zimra, Rosh Ulpanat Levona Rabbi Dr. Ya’ir Hiller, Hemdat HaDarom College, Talpiot College, Ariel University

In the event that these things are correct, we protest and demand that the legal proceedings against them cease, and that an independent investigative committee be founded. Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Rabbi Ya’akov Warhaftig

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