Police beat right-wing demonstrator in Rehovot

Police brutality victim; Photo credit: Honenu

Sunday, May 7, 2023, 15:55 Last Thursday, two demonstrations were held opposite each other in Rehovot, one by supporters of judicial reform and one by its opponents. At some point, the opponents tore down signs hung by the supporters, and a clash broke out between the sides. Despite the involvement of demonstrators from both sides in the clash, none of the left-wingers were detained, as has been the norm at other left-wing demonstrations against judicial reform. Police officers separated the demonstrators and took a right-wing activist to a police car. There, for no reason and without any explanation, they punched him and bruised his face. Then, they detained him and took him into custody.

Honenu Attorney Daniel Shimshilashvili represented the right-wing activist at a court hearing on Friday. The police requested a four-day remand extension. However, the court accepted the request by Attorney Shimshilashvili and released the activist on the condition of a personal recognizance bond and a 10-day ban from entering Rehovot. Attorney Shimshilashvili announced that he is considering filing a complaint with the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) regarding the police brutality at the demonstration.

Attorney Shimshilashvili commented on the ruling: “I welcome the decision to release my client – after he spent an unnecessary night in remand – contrary to the request by the police to extend his remand. The disgraceful behavior of the police was illustrated by the sight of the injuries inflicted on my client, who suffered an intensive beating at the hands of the police officers, even after he was handcuffed in the police car and could not defend himself. It appears that his sole offense was that he dared to criticize the actions taken by the police during the demonstration.

“I am of the opinion that news reports should open with this incident. However, the demonstrator belongs to the right-wing sector of the population, and in my bitter experience, there are individuals in the Israel Police who ‘understand’ that they may opt for unrestrained violence, as long as the target is not from the left wing of the populace. In the name of Honenu, for whom I represent clients, I state clearly that we will act with all means at our disposal to ensure that everyone responsible for the injuries inflicted on my client is penalized to the full extent of the law. I call on the PIU to investigate this incident of blatant police brutality without delay.”

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