Minor compensated for multiple rights violations

Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher; Photo credit: Honenu

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 8:13 The Israeli Police and the Prison Service will pay 19,000 NIS in compensation to a minor whose rights were violated during detention. The ruling was received in a compromise in a suit filed at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court over a series of rights violated by policemen from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police and by prison guards from the Prison Service. According to the statement of claim, the minor was falsely detained and led in public by policemen and prison guards while still handcuffed, which is in violation of the law and of regulations. Additionally, the minor was fully and partially strip searched by policemen and prison guards, without justification and in violation of the law, the regulations, and a court ruling.
The suit was filed over the detention of the minor on a claim that he had violated an administrative restrictive order. The order which was issued to the minor in 2016 included distancing from Yehuda and Shomron for three months and a requirement that the minor provide an address of his place of residence for the duration of the order. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher filed the statement of claim in the compensation suit which is summarized below.
The minor was led in public while handcuffed: “… they led him in the street handcuffed in full view of passers-by, and also through the corridors of the courthouse, which obviously caused A. unnecessary humiliation.” The minor was interrogated by a Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police interrogator while still in leg-cuffs “for no apparent logical reason”.
The strip searches: “When he was brought into the prison, the Prison Service guards conducted a full strip search on the completely unclothed minor. When the minor objected to it, one of the guards told him, ‘If you resist, I will do it to you by force!’” Additionally, when he left the detention center the minor was fully strip searched without any cause. When he was taken to a deliberation on the extension of his remand he also underwent a full strip search, and on numerous other occasions he was partially strip searched.
With regards to the false detention, the minor was detained while on his way to a court deliberation, even though he had acted according to orders from the court and sent a fax to the police informing them of his address for the night on the evening prior to the detention. Policemen at the station were not manning the fax station and due to an additional technical problem, they decided to detain the minor on suspicion of violating a legal order “without thoroughly verifying the matter with Bezeq [telecommunications company] … and without summoning the complainant by phone to an interrogation, as is customary.”
He was forced to wander from house to house and sleep in tents because people who agreed to host him in their homes were harassed early in the morning by policemen verifying that he was in compliance with the order. In the end, the youth moved into a tent with his parents and they wandered until they arrived in the Beit v’Gan neighborhood of Jerusalem, opposite the home of the official who had signed the distancing order. The minor could not find another place of residence, which led to a legal battle at the end of which the minor was detained. The minor was indicted, however the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court ruled that he had not violated any law. During this time the minor suffered from being repeatedly pursued and falsely detained for supposedly violating the order.
The statement of claim concluded by noting the “violation of fundamental rights, among them violations of freedom and dignity. This was an extremely serious humiliation imposed in violation of the law, for no need, on a minor.”
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who represented the minor: “The compensation ruling necessitates soul-searching on the part of the police and all of the authorities involved with enforcing the law towards idealistic youth who act out of love of Israel. The authorities must enforce the law with respect and fairness. I hope that the sum that will be paid will provide some compensation for abuse he suffered when he was a fifteen year old minor only fifteen years old. Today, thank G-d, he has a family of his own and continues to demonstrate his love for the Land of Israel. There is no doubt that the compensation will be used for beneficial purposes.”

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