Detained Jerusalem Pride March protester awarded compensation

Sunday, May 14, 2023, 16:39 The incident described below is not exceptional. Honenu has represented many citizens whose fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of protest, were violated in connection to Pride marches. In recent years, the State of Israel has paid tens of thousands of shekels in compensation to right-wing activists who were detained for no legitimate reason, and in some cases subjected to invasive and humiliating searches even though their only intention was to make a legal protest against Pride marches, including the Jerusalem Pride March. For a list of relevant posts, please click here.

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court awarded 6,700 NIS in compensation to a right-wing activist detained by police when on his way to a legal and authorized demonstration protesting the June 2021 Pride March taking place that same day. As the activist was walking toward an area authorized by the police for the demonstration, he was repeatedly stopped for no reason at police barriers. After he had been detained for over two hours at one barrier, surrounded by Yassam (Special Forces) Police, he was taken to the Moriya Police Station in Jerusalem.

At the station, police officers informed the activist that he was being interrogated over his intent to violate public order, despite the lack of any proof. After the interrogation, the activist was held for four hours in a detention cell at the police station, together with a dangerous criminal, until the end of the march later at night. After his release, the activist and an additional detainee asked the police officers for written confirmation of the time of their release. However, the officers refused and said that they did not have an appropriate release form.

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who filed the suit against the police on behalf of the activist, commented on the ruling, “This is only one of many examples of over-zealous and intimidating policing with regard to demonstrators protesting the Pride March. My client was minding his own business and not provoking anyone as he walked to the area authorized by the police for the demonstration. He was stopped and searched numerous times for no reason. After detaining him in the street for two hours, the police then took my client to the police station and placed him in a detention cell with a dangerous man. This is how the Israel Police treats whoever wants to legally protest an event that intensely and deeply hurts the feelings of the members of the religious and traditional populations in Israel.”

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