Prisoner awarded 8,000 NIS in compensation for strip searches

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 11:54 In a compromise reached between the sides, the Prison Service will pay 8,000 NIS in compensation to a prisoner following a suit filed over unjustified strip searches. According to the prisoner, who is being represented by Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, the Prison Service forced him to undergo three strip searches, even though he was not suspected of possessing anything. The first search was carried out when the prisoner was transferred from a detention center to the Tzelmon Prison. In the reception complex he was forced to undergo a complete strip search. When he requested not to be searched and explained to the prison guard that the search was illegal, his request was rejected and the search was carried out.
Approximately six months later the prisoner was taken to a deliberation at the Supreme Court where he says he was strip searched again, by a prison guard from the Nachson Unit. The guard threatened him that if he resisted he would be forcibly stripped.
He also stated that when he was at the Rimonim Prison and transferred from one wing to another he was strip searched a third time. When he tried to explain to the guard that the search was illegal he was threatened and told, “This is what there is and get on with it. Take off your underwear.”
The court’s statements regarding the body search of a prisoner were brought in the statement of claim, “In the absence of any basis of the possibility that the prisoner will bring forbidden items into the prison, conducting a visual search, while the prisoner is naked and stripped of all his clothes, is not allowed.”
In the statement of claim it also was written that the courts ruled that the strip searches were conducted without authorization, and despite that, the Prison Service continue to conduct such searches as a matter of course. The prison guards are not aware and are not able to carry out the legal procedures.
The complainant sued the Prison Service for a total sum of 30,000 NIS. In the case’s court deliberations, the Prison Service admitted to one out of the three searches claimed by the complainant and in a compromise between the sides the sum of 8,000 NIS compensation to the prisoner was decided upon.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who represented the prisoner in the suit, stated that, “We are looking to the future. There is no cause to carry out a search of this sort on prisoners who do not have charges against them which necessitate a search of this type that denies them their rights and violates their dignity. We hope that the results of this verdict will be studied in the future.”

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