Minor released, but family vacation ruined

Monday, August 13, 13:48 After a 24 hour remand a minor suspected of involvement with the mosque arson in Kfar Jaba, an Arab village near the Jewish community of Adam in the Binyamin region, has been released, Honenu reports. The minor was detained in the middle of a family vacation in the north of Israel and taken to the detention center of the Russian Compound in Jerusalem.
Yesterday in the early afternoon the M. family traveled from Jerusalem to the Kinar Beach on the shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) as part of a vacation which included their extended family. At the entrance to the Kinar Beach an unmarked car driving behind them instructed them to stop. The driver of the M. family stopped on the side of the road. The passengers of the unmarked car approached him and presented police badges. After the driver showed his drivers’ license and car registration at the request of the plain-clothes policemen, they turned to R., the driver’s son, and asked him for his name. R. gave his name and the policemen informed him that he is being detained and that he must accompany them. R.’s mother asked with what her son is being charged and the police presented a warrant on which R.’s name was written and said that the matter involves a mosque arson. R. was taken from the beach for interrogation and kept in remand at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem.
In an announcement released by the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police it was reported that the minor youth was detained on suspicion of involvement with the mosque arson in Kfar Jaba approximately two months ago. The mosque was set on fire supposedly in protest of the evacuation of the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El. At the site graffiti was found reading “Price Tag Givat Ulpana”.
Several weeks ago two minors were detained, also on suspicion of involvement with the Kfar Jaba mosque arson. After several days of remand, including prolonged interrogation, and after the Jerusalem District Court informed the police that there is no evidence implicating the minors in the incident, the police agreed to release them to one and a half weeks of house arrest with no other conditions. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who represented the minors, agreed to the release.
As stated above, today the police agreed to unconditionally release R. after completing the interrogation.
Honenu attorney Naftali Wertzberger, who is representing R., stated in response that, “The police treat detentions lightly and do not give enough consideration to the rights of a minor, who completely lacks a criminal record, to freedom. Even though the release came late, the police did well to release the detainee before they were disgraced in court.”
Honenu, which handled R.’s case, objects to the conduct of the police, “It would be best if the police would summon suspects to interrogation in an organized manner. The conduct of the police concerning investigations into arson for supposedly nationalistic motives is a superfluous irregularity which damages the rights of the detainees, treating them as if they were objects and not people.”

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