Court released activist: “Limited protests are allowed”

Sunday, April 3, 2022, 9:49 On March 29, in light of the recent terror attacks throughout Israel, Moshe Ben Zikri, a right-wing activist, informed the police that he intended to organize a protest at the entrance to Umm el Faham in Wadi Ara. In response to the request, policemen arrived at his house, detained him (see video clip below), and held him in remand overnight. The following morning he was brought before Hadera Magistrates Court Judge Yaniv Heller, who rejected the police request to extend his remand and ordered his immediate release.

Judge Heller did not find any grounds for the detention of Ben Zikri: “There is no dispute that the suspect is a social activist, and there is no dispute that in the past he has given notifications to the area police commander with regard to holding protests. I did not find a threat to injure anyone in his current notification, and I have a doubt as to whether or not there is even a reasonable suspicion of a criminal offense. A limited protest is permitted according to the law.”

Ben Zikri described the tense moments of that evening: “After the horrific terror attacks of last week, we, the residents of the area, decided to go out and protest. Out of good citizenship, I sent a notification to the commander of the local police station, who surprisingly did not respond to me. However, within several hours, armed detectives arrived at my door and detained me. The Israel Police took me away from my twelve children and my wife, who was very startled, and left me all night in remand through no fault of my own. This was a blatant attempt to silence and suppress protests and demonstrations, which is a violation of democratic norms. I will not be deterred and I will continue to act for the sake of Am Yisrael. Many thanks to my wife and my children, who ceaselessly support me, and to Honenu for their immediate assistance.”

Honenu Attorney Viki Shmuel, who is representing Ben Zikri: “I regularly represent detainees, and I have never encountered a request for a detention warrant such as this one. It is obvious that there were no grounds for the detention. The decision indicates that the court itself did not agree with the remand, and in fact unconditionally released Mr. Ben Zikri. It would have been better had the Israel Police not detained him at all.”

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