Detainees sexually harassed and illegally handcuffed

Honenu Attorney Shimshilashvili; Photo credit: Honenu

Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 11:03 On Monday (April 15), Jerusalem Magistrates Court Judge Gad Ehrenberg presided over a hearing on the remand extension for two Yehuda and Shomron residents who were detained Saturday night (after Shabbat) and taken to the Yehuda and Shomron Police, who are handling their investigation with the GSS. The residents are suspected of various security violations in light of their participation in demonstrations after the recent murder of Binyamin Ahimeir, Hy”d, and an additional incident from a year ago.

The GSS did not bring the detainees, one of whom is a minor, to the hearing, instead they were allowed to participate via a video link. A series of instances of abuse and law violations by the GSS personnel of the civil rights of the detainees were described, for which Judge Ehrenberg ordered Mivtan, the department of the Justice Ministry authorized to investigate complaints by GSS detainees, to investigate the GSS interrogators involved.

Among the alleged abuses, a female agent pressed up against one of the detainees to check “whether he shapes his eyebrows”. Judge Ehrenberg stated that if it is true, it constitutes a serious offense. He also demanded that Mivtan investigate why the GSS illegally handcuffed the detainees with their arms behind their backs during the hearing and concealed the handcuffing from him. Additionally, Judge Ehrenberg ordered tefillin to be urgently brought to one of the detainees so that he could lay tefillin before sundown.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Ehrenberg rejected a request from the GSS for an 11-day remand extension and granted only three days. Honenu Attorneys Nati Rom and Daniel Shimshilashvili, who are representing the detainees, appealed the remand extension to the Jerusalem District Court.

Attorney Shimshilashvili, who is representing the minor, leveled sharp criticism at the GSS: “I am completely disgusted by the indecent acts to which my client was subjected by the GSS interrogators. The acts were not documented in the investigative material, which indicates that even the interrogators understood the severity of their violations, especially when committed against a minor who does not have a criminal record. They even continued their abuse during the hearing, when, shockingly, without informing either me or the judge, the minor was handcuffed with his arms behind his back, shackled to his legs. He sat in his chair, unable to move, whereas even Nukhba terrorists [October 7], whose interrogations were publicized in the media, were not restrained in this way.

“The minor alleges that he was sexually harassed by his interrogators, a female and a male, who decided that they were allowed to do whatever they wanted. However, they later realized that, as the court’s decision made clear, that was not so. It is regrettable that the authority that should have realized its errors has not shown remorse. The terrorists who murdered Binyamin, Hy”d, an innocent youth, are comparable to the Nukhba terrorists who carried out the massacre on Simhat Torah (October 7) and are holding innocent men, women and children hostage. They do not need a trigger to cause them to brutally attack Jews for being Jews. I am certain that my client has not committed the acts attributed to him. We will work toward his release without delay. Today’s court decision definitely leads in that direction,” added Attorney Shimshilashvili.

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