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“The detention was a cover-up”

Updated: May 30, 2022

Detained minor; Photo credit: Tzvi Monosov
Detained minor; Photo credit: Tzvi Monosov

Thursday, January 7, 2016, 16:29 On Thursday, January 7, the four detainees violently detained during a disturbance in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem the previous day were released in court to house arrest until Sunday, January 10. The court rejected the police demand to extend their remand by three days. Three minors and one 50-year-old Jerusalem resident were detained during an incident involving harsh police violence on Wednesday, January 6, in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem. The incident began when police detectives mistakenly arrived at the dormitory of a yeshiva in the Givat Shaul neighborhood in order to verify the presence of a youth whom they thought was under house arrest at the dormitory. However, several days previously the court had canceled the house arrest order and the youth was not present. Although yeshiva students at the dormitory tried to explain to the police that the youth’s house arrest had been canceled, the policemen insisted on entering the dormitory. The police did not present either a warrant or police badges. At the dormitory, a disturbance developed. Outside of the yeshiva, a group of curious bystanders gathered and blocked police vehicles for a short time. During the disturbance on the street, three minors were detained on suspicion of disturbing a policeman in the line of duty and assaulting a policeman. One of the minors was severely beaten by the policemen. On a street close to the yeshiva, an approximately 50-year-old Jerusalem resident was violently detained by policemen. The detainee, who was shopping nearby with his wife at the time, thought that a terror attack had occurred and ran towards the site of the disturbance. He noticed policemen and police detectives running to the site and because he legally carries a weapon, followed them. The policemen roughly shoved him away, hitting him in the process, apparently thinking that he intended to interfere with their work. He asked the police detective who hit him for his personal details and the detective decided to detain him and hit him hard all over his body, as did the other policemen. The four detainees were taken to the Moriya Police Station in Jerusalem. Honenu Attorney Rehavia Piltz arrived at the police station to provide legal counsel and described the scene: “The detainees, including the adult, were seated by the policemen on the floor of the police station, not on chairs, with their hands handcuffed behind their backs, facing the wall, as if they were terrorists. This procedure is illegal, humiliating, and unnecessarily drastic.” The detainees spent the night at the police station and were brought to court for a deliberation on Thursday, January 7. At the deliberation, the police claimed that one of the youths sat on the engine hood of one of the police cars and banged on it, the second shoved policemen, and the third assaulted policemen. All three deny all charges. Also the representative of the police admitted that the 50-year-old detainee’s account of the incident was correct, but claimed that after he was detained he also assaulted policemen and insulted them. Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi, who represented the detainees, said in response, “If the policemen had spoken with their mouths and not their hands the superfluous remand would have been prevented.” The 50-year-old detainee complained that he was severely beaten and the court allowed him to have medical examinations done despite his being under house arrest. After the deliberation Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi said, “The detention of the suspects was intended only to cover up the brutal conduct of the policemen during the incident. Immediately after their release, my clients presented themselves at the offices of the Police Investigation Unit in order to lodge complaints against the policemen.”

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