Seven Jewish youths unconditionally released from remand

Thursday, November 26, 2015, 9:33 On Wednesday, November 25, Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter ordered the unconditional release of seven Jewish youths detained the previous night on suspicion of assaulting an Arab municipal street cleaner on Yaffo Street in Jerusalem. During the deliberation on November 25 the youths and the street cleaner gave their versions of the incident. The youths were walking on Yaffo Street at approximately 21:00 on the night of Tuesday, November 24, when, as he was sweeping, the Arab street cleaner bumped into one of the youths. At this point the testimonies of the two sides begins to differ. According to the cleaner an argument developed between him and the youths, who pushed him onto the light rail tracks, which run down Yaffo Street in Jerusalem’s center city. The youths stated that that one of them commented to the cleaner that he should be more careful not to bump into pedestrians and in response the cleaner began to argue. The youths completely deny that any of them pushed the cleaner. Policemen called to the scene by the cleaner detained the seven youths, two of whom are minors, and left them in remand overnight. At a court deliberation on November 25 the police demanded that the detainees be banned from entering Jerusalem’s city center for 60 days. However Judge Gabai Richter accepted Attorney Avichai Hajbi’s opinion and ruled that they be unconditionally released. “I examined the investigative file and I am satisfied there is no cause to suspect the defendants,” wrote Judge Gabai Richter, and added that, “The reports of the activity of the policemen do not indicate cause for any specific accusation.” Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi said that, “The decision speaks for itself. The court ruled, using different wording, that five adults and two minors spent a night in remand with no cause. Any further word is superfluous.” Honenu is considering suing the police for false detention, especially in light of the fact that the law states that only in unusual cases do the police leave minors in remand overnight instead of conditionally releasing them, which is what they demanded from the court. “We regard with severity the haste with which the Jerusalem Police rushed to exaggerate and present an argument as a racially motivated clash, and to detain citizens who had not committed any crime,” said Honenu. “It is not clear why the police rushed to believe the Arab and not the Jewish youths, and to treat them so roughly over a complaint of being shoved.”

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