Police ruin class trip, three students compensated for false detention

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado; Photo credit: Honenu

Thursday, April 11, 2024, 16:59 The Nazareth Magistrates Court awarded NIS 35,000 compensation to three minors who were falsely detained while on an annual school trip.

Four years ago, the elder brother of one of the minors tried to enter the Tomb of Nebi Yehuda near She’ar Yishuv in the north of Israel, but was turned away by the guard at the entrance. The following day, when he was chaperoning his younger brother’s class on their trip, he was detained by police officers with three minors, all of them students in the class, one of them his brother, and taken into the Tzfat Police Station. All of the detainees were suspected of breaking into the Tomb of Nebi Yehuda.

Although the officers did not have the authority to do so, they confiscated the minors’ cell phones, and illegally detained them for hours at the station. During that time, the officers refused to allow them to bring their food from their bus. The minors had not yet eaten breakfast, and they did not eat anything until the afternoon. When one of the minors complained of a headache and asked for Acamol (acetaminophen), an officer replied disparagingly, “We’re not a health clinic.” The minors were also illegally interrogated. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado filed a suit against the police on behalf of the minors.

The Nazareth Magistrates Court ruled that there were no grounds to detain the minors and ruin the trip: The night before their detention, the police received a report that four adults had broken into the Tomb of Nebi Yehuda. The court also ruled that in the consultation that was held after the minors were detained at the station, it was said that in light of the evidence, the minors were not involved with the incident. Nevertheless, the minors were not allowed to return to their trip. They were held at the police station for much longer than is legal, which is an injustice. The court awarded each of them NIS 10,000 in addition to court expenses.

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado commented on the case: “This is a scandal. The police ruined an annual class trip even though they had evidence refuting any connection between the students and the incident being investigated.”

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