Prohibiting meeting with attorney liable to lead to false confessions

Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 11:49 The gag order on the recent case of ISA detainees has been lifted. The detainees are suspected of involvement with actions against Arabs in the area of Nahaliel, in the Binyamin region. The Honenu Attorneys representing the detainees strongly criticized the prohibition to meet with an attorney placed on their clients and the conditions under which their clients are being held by the ISA.
Ten suspects have been detained in the case, four of them IDF soldiers, one of them an officer. One of the soldiers is still in remand as are four other detainees who for more than ten days have been under an order forbidding them from meeting with an attorney. Two of the detainees were released to house arrest by the Central District Court in Lod earlier today (April 20). One of the detainees, a minor, required medical treatment in hospital on Friday, April 15. Judge Eliana Danieli severely criticized the police for not informing his family of either his medical condition or the treatment he received.
Honenu Attorney Aharon Roza: “Contrary to all sorts of rumors and snippets of news, the vast majority of the violations being investigated in this case do not involve any injury to human life, and most of them are no more than a quarrel. Regardless of the type of violation being investigated, this method of preventing a meeting with an attorney in any investigation which falls under the heading “security investigation” is neither sound nor correct. When I meet with clients at the moment the prohibition is lifted, I see that there had never been substantial cause to prohibit the meeting. The purpose of the prohibition is to place very heavy pressure on the interrogated detainees who are isolated from their attorneys and turned into captives by their interrogators. When someone is not advised by an attorney and lacks the simplest advice due to him by law so that he does not incriminate himself, of course [the interrogators] have an easier time. This situation is not only likely to bring about false confessions of partial involvement with an incident or of entire incidents, but rather is also a disastrous blow to democracy. This could happen to anyone at any given time, and someone who finds himself deprived of his rights and faced with such strong [investigating] units, [will be] simply a trampled citizen.”
Honenu Attorney Chai Haber, who is representing one of the detained soldiers: “Today is another dark day for the State of Israel which claims to be a democratic state. Unfortunately the investigating authorities apparently did not learn the appropriate lesson about torture and violation of rights from the [Kfar] Duma case, and once again the scenario is being repeated. In effect a worrisome reality is being formed in which prohibiting of a suspect from meeting with an attorney is becoming the rule, and giving someone the basic legal right of consulting with an attorney before an interrogation, is the exception to the rule. It must not be that [the investigating authorities] conduct themselves in a disproportionate manner contrary to the law only with a certain segment of the population, while to the public they “sell” various and sundry stories about the security of the state and endangering lives when the reality is far from that. We intend to act with all legal means in order to put an end to this shameful conduct by the investigating authorities and to the violation of human rights which they carry out on a constant basis. We will demand that a thorough investigation be carried out on all of the material on the basis of which the investigating authorities demand prohibiting meetings with an attorney. Our purpose is to show that what is written in the material is detached from reality and completely out of proportion to the facts.”
Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar: “At this time of the Zadorov and [Kfar] Duma cases I can only express my astonishment at the continuation of the corrupt method which focuses purely on obtaining confession by improper means and without [allowing detainees] legal counsel. The legal system is becoming one that blocks legal counsel and abandons suspects. This should concern every citizen in the State.”

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