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Youth detained for “future misdemeanor”

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 16:05 Honenu reports that in a precedent-making step the police detained an approximately 20-year-old Jewish man on suspicion of “future disruption of a policeman in the line of duty”, an intent to disturb policemen during a demonstration against the planned destruction of nine houses in Ofra in the coming days. The youth was detained by detectives from the Unit of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police on the morning of Sunday, February 26, at his home and interrogated on suspicion of having the intent to disturb policemen in the line of duty during the anticipated destruction of nine houses in Ofra. The violation is classified as a “misdemeanor”, which is not particularly serious, and cannot be classified as conspiracy to commit a violation classified as a “crime”. In fact the suspicion is not that a violation had been carried out but rather that a violation is going to be carried out, which is not in line with the criminal law procedure of the State of Israel. Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is representing the youth, reported that during interrogation no evidence was presented to him. The youth said that because the interrogation was for political reasons and the detention is false, he is not willing to cooperate with the police. At the completion of the interrogation the policemen demanded that the youth sign on an order distancing him from Ofra for 15 days and post 1,000 NIS bail. The youth refused to sign and will be brought to a deliberation scheduled for later the same day at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, at which Honenu Attorney Rom will represent him. Honenu: “This process is worthy of the thought police. In a state of law a man is detained if he violated the law, and not when he is suspected of having the intent to perhaps violate the law in the future. All the more so when the violation is based on freedom of expression and protest.” Honenu Attorney Nati Rom: “Unfortunately once again the Israeli Police is using detention as a means to silence individuals and systematically trample human rights. The case involves a violation which was not even committed but rather suspected of being committed in the future. The detention was neither legal nor acceptable. Jerusalem District Court Judge Drori has ruled that the police need to be taught a lesson in human rights. I sincerely hope that the youth will be released and that the Israeli Police will take care to respect the freedom of expression and protest.”

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