Youth in remand due to discriminatory policy to be released

Thursday, July 2, 2015, 16:26 A detained youth from Beit El was ordered to be released to house arrest on Thursday, June 11, on condition of wearing an electronic handcuff, but could not be released to his parents’ home because the company which formerly supplied electronic handcuffs to the Israeli Prison Services did not operate in most of the communities of Yehuda and Shomron. Despite the fact that courts have ruled numerous times that residents of Yehuda and Shomron be released to house arrest and cancelled the condition of an electronic handcuff after it turned out that it was not possible to provide the service in those areas, Jerusalem Magistrate Judge Mordechai Kaduri ruled that the youth would remain in remand until the end of proceedings. For close to three weeks the youth has remained in remand unnecessarily while Honenu appealed the decision. On Wednesday, July 1, the officer from the Prison Services responsible for electronic monitoring announced that it was possible to supply an electronic handcuff to someone under house arrest in Beit El. From the letter written to the court: “The law which came into effect on 16.6.2015 does not differentiate between the territories [Yehuda and Shomron] and the State of Israel. In other words, there is no obstacle to providing the electronic surveillance service in Beit El.” The letter was written concerning the case of the youth from Beit El who has been in remand for close to three weeks only because the previous supplier of electronic handcuffs did not service most of the communities in Yehuda and Shomron. At the close of a prolonged legal struggle by Honenu attorney Adi Kedar and with the coming into effect of the new electronic handcuff law, which former Knesset Member Orit Struk demanded apply also in Yehuda and Shomron, the youth will be able to be released to his home. Earlier in the case, Honenu attorney Adi Kedar had suggested to the court that the youth wear an electronic handcuff at his yeshiva in Jerusalem. At a deliberation which took place on Thursday, June 25 at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court the Youth Probation Service claimed that it was not possible for the youth to wear the electronic handcuff at the yeshiva which the youth attends. According to a recent law, the Youth Probation Service examines the alternative site (to house arrest at the detainee’s own home) prior to the release of a detainee who will wear an electronic handcuff. In the expert opinion given by the Youth Probation Service, they claimed that it is not possible to release the youth to his yeshiva because of its large number of students. The absurdity of the situation, which the head of the yeshiva described in a letter he wrote to the court, is that there have been and are currently students at the yeshiva who were released by order of the court to stay at the yeshiva with an electronic handcuff as an alternative to house arrest at their own homes. On Wednesday, July 1, the court ruled that within five days, the detainee’s house will be evaluated as is required by law. If the house is determined to be suitable for the electronic handcuff service, the detainee will be released to house arrest. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing the detainee, stated that, “We welcome the announcement [from the Prison Services] and are awaiting the implementation of the court’s ruling which will order the release of my client. We hope that this struggle will breach the wall of discrimination which the residents of Yehuda and Shomron have faced over the years.” Shai Alon, the Beit El Local Council Head, responded to the decision: “I am pleased that the State of Israel came to its senses and understood that Beit El is part of the State. I think that justice has served in that someone who is allowed by a judge to receive house arrest with an electronic handcuff as an alternative [to remand] will not be forced to remain in prison only because of technical problems. I thank Honenu, who advanced the handling of the matter, and also Knesset Member Moti Yogev who raised a parliamentary question in the Knesset.” Knesset Member Moti Yogev stated, “I am pleased that the alternative [to remand] electronic handcuff, which the court allows in specific cases, can be supplied to all areas of the State of Israel, including Yehuda and Shomron. I am of the opinion that the parliamentary question which I raised to the Internal Security Minister on the matter in the Knesset advanced the appropriate solution to creating equality among the entire population of the State.”

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