Gag order lifted from Shimon HaTzadik case

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 18:27 Two Jewish youths have been interrogated over the past few days by the GSS. Now that today (Tuesday), the gag order imposed by the police and the GSS has expired, it is permitted to publicize that their rights have been severely violated. The youths were interrogated on suspicion of assisting residents of the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem to defend themselves against an Arab mob that attacked their homes two weeks ago. They were interrogated on suspicion of assault and other violations.

The youths were detained approximately a week ago and were forbidden to meet with an attorney until yesterday (Monday) when they met with Honenu Attorneys Adi Keidar, Nati Rom, and Avichai Hajbi. The attorneys heard from the detainees about the severe violation of their rights, including harassment by female interrogators, sleep deprivation, interrogation on Shabbat, and denial of the opportunity to pray. At the hearing, the court rejected the request by the police to extend the detainees’ remand by eight days and extended it until Thursday. One of the detainees will be conditionally released on Thursday.

Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi stated, “The conduct of the GSS deserves all condemnation. These things take on heightened significance in light of the Supreme Court ruling that an Arab suspect who was interrogated over a serious incident that occurred moments before this incident was not forbidden to speak with an attorney. In any event, my client is innocent, and therefore I am certain that he will be released in the coming days.”

Honenu Attorney Nati Rom added, “The GSS and the police have lost it. The rights of the interrogatees were trampled by a draconian order that prevented the detainees from meeting with an attorney and by the aggressive interrogation during which they were harassed, deprived of sleep, and interrogated on Shabbat. The police tried to mislead the court by concealing critical details of the incident, including the injury of a 17-year-old Jewish youth by an Arab mob a matter of minutes before the incident. Unfortunately, the security forces are investing their efforts against the victims – the Jewish residents – and not against the enemy. I call on the security forces to wake up, act against the enemy, and stop the wave of terror.”

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar: “The court rejected the incomprehensible request by the police for a gag order. The police do not want to reveal their conduct and that of the GSS regarding the detainees. The GSS should not have been involved in this case and the detainees should not have been prevented from meeting with an attorney. During the time that they could not meet with an attorney, the detainees were interrogated on Shabbat for many hours, deprived of sleep, and were not provided with sufficient food. The religious sensibilities of one of the detainees were intentionally violated when a female interrogator intentionally touched him several times. And it was all for nothing. One of the detainees will be released soon and the charges against another have not yet been specified.

“In the end, the Supreme Court itself accepted the claim by the defense that the discrimination here is problematic. Several minutes before the incident, there was another incident in which a Jewish youth was brutally attacked. The suspect of the attack was not interrogated by the GSS or the police and he was not prevented from meeting with an attorney.”

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