Police demand private photos from wedding photographers

Friday, September 16, 2022, 10:15 Honenu leveled strong criticism at the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police for demanding photographs from two events photographers who recently photographed two weddings of Yehuda and Shomron residents at two different locations. In mid-September, the police phoned them and demanded that they transfer photographs of the weddings to the police. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing the photographers, sent a letter to the police stating that there is no justification for violating the privacy of the photographers and the families.

In his letter to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police Commander and the legal advisor of the Department of Jewish Nationalistic Crime, Yado wrote that the photographers are law-abiding professionals who have no intention of violating orders given legally by the Israel Police. Nevertheless, they do not intend to do anything so long as the demand is made illegally and without a court order.

The photographs are not the property of the photographers but rather of the families who hired their services. Likewise, revealing the photographs is liable to lead to a violation of the privacy of the wedding guests who were photographed, and therefore the photographers do not intend to transfer anything that is not theirs and is liable to harm people who are not connected to the matter at hand. Yado wrote that people’s privacy may not be violated, even with a court order, without prior arrangement. The photographers are already aware of the desire of the police to acquire the material, and they intend to cooperate, if there is a court order, and therefore there is no need to enter their homes without authorization and coordination.

In conclusion, Yado wrote that the photographers are maintaining their right to privacy and their right to act as the law permits in order to prevent the transfer of the photographs. Likewise, the photographers requested that the letter be attached to every demand by the police for a court order so that the judges will be informed of the ways in which the police attempted to obtain the material illegally. This is in addition to the fact that the photographers are law-abiding citizens and therefore Yado asks that they be treated properly and that their rights not be unjustifiably violated.

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing the photographers, stated, “This is a blatant and ugly invasion of the families’ privacy and their freedom to record an event without fear of the police taking advantage of the recordings to use trivial matters (de minimis) to frame the friends of the couples. From one day to the next, I am shocked by the powerlessness of the police in the face of spreading and increasing Arab crime, while their aggressive policing of Jews lacks all proportion, sensitivity, and justification.”

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