Thursday, January 30, 2020, 10:02 Six right-wing activists who were brutally detained while protesting the 2019 Jerusalem Pride March are suing the police for false detention and severe violation of their freedoms of expression and protest. They are demanding 76,000 NIS in compensation. The suit filed by Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado states that since the murder of Shira Banki, z”l, who was stabbed to death while marching in the 2015 Jerusalem Pride March, partly due to police negligence, the police have been protecting the rights of one segment of Israeli society in a preferential manner.
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing the plaintiffs, strongly criticized the conduct of the Israeli Police during the incident. In his opinion the police acted as a security company in the service of the LGBT community, restricting brutally and with illegal means, legitimate protest by the religious and conservative sectors of Israeli society.
The protesters were violently flattened onto the ground, beaten, handcuffed and illegally detained for many hours. The suit states that “their only offense was standing outside of the barriers of the closed, defined march area and calling out protest calls opposing the march.”
The suit also states that the conduct of the police stems from past mistakes: “The Israeli Police are trying to ‘cure a sin with a crime’, the sin of failing to prevent Shira Banki’s murder with sweeping prevention of any expression of opposition to the Pride March, which strikes at the root of the fundamental values held by the community of the faithful in Israel, which comprises most of the Jewish population in the City of Jerusalem.” Therefore each of the six protesters is suing the police for 12,666 NIS, a total of 76,000 NIS in compensation.
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “The suit was filed by several youths whose only offense was standing outside of the barriers of the closed, defined area of the Pride March and realizing their right to freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of protest, shouting calls opposing the Pride March and what it represents. The Pride March in the streets of the City of Jerusalem is a march which in the opinion of these youths, and of wide sectors in the State of Israel, breaks boundaries, makes public what had been concealed and gives legitimacy to things which are in opposition to the core of the world of values of large sectors in Israel.
“But in the State of Israel, 2020, apparently it has become forbidden to protest, even verbally, against this march, and the harsh and brutal reaction by the police was not late in coming. We say to the police that the severe brutality and the false detention of the youths were not legal, even though they were protesting the Pride March. The right to express Jewish values in the streets of Israel must be returned to the national agenda and given full legitimacy.”