Judge censures police, releases minor

Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 18:20 Residents of Geulat Tzion, a hilltop community near Shevut Rachel, report that the police and the ISA have been harassing them on a daily basis for almost two months, including carrying out raids and detentions, with the intent to stop their yeshiva from operating at the site. The raids are conducted at all hours of the day and night, and in one instance a police officer entered a structure with his pistol drawn. Additionally the residents report that a coordinator named “Oren” from the Jewish Department of the ISA in charge of the Shiloh Bloc region has been having threatening conversations with youth in the area. Several of the youths were threatened with administrative orders banning them from entering the region if they did not stop studying on the hilltop.
Recently, late at night on Monday, June 27, Yassam police and police detective forces raided Geulat Tzion. A minor was detained, taken to the Binyamin Police Station and interrogated on suspicion of entering a closed military zone.
At the completion of the interrogation the police decided that the minor would be released, and then decided to leave him in remand at the police station until the morning, at which time he would be brought before a judge in order to determine the conditions for his release.
Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter, who presided over the case, censured the police, ruled that the minor had unnecessarily remained in remand overnight, and unconditionally released him. “The petitioner’s handling of the case was completely unacceptable and rife with deficiencies,” wrote Judge Gabai Richter. “The defendant unnecessarily spent a night in remand when the petitioner knew that he intended to release him. In this situation there was no justification for remand and the aforementioned practice is in violation of the Arrests Law and the Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty,” ruled the judge.
Also in his decision Judge Gabai Richter ruled that the conditions under which the minor had been held overnight at the police station, not at a detention center, were also not in accordance with the law: “The defendant was unnecessarily left at the police station in violation of his rights as a detainee.”
Judge Gabai Richter ordered the unconditional release of the minor and rejected the police demand to delay carrying out the decision: “The violations [of a detainee’s rights] are violations of the basic rights of the defendant, who is a minor. This fact lends particular severity to the aforementioned violations, and given that, I order the unconditional release of the minor.”
Honenu Attorney David HaLevi, who represented the minor, stated that, “The decision of the court speaks for itself. The police would do well to learn the requisite lessons, and the sooner, the better.”

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