Honenu has represented many citizens whose fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of protest, have been violated with regard to pride marches. Please click here for a list of relevant posts.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 10:09 The police will pay 25,000 NIS in compensation to D., a businessman who was detained near the Ra’anana Pride March in June 2019 solely because of his religious appearance. (See video clip below.) A summary of the statement of claim is as follows: D. was calmly walking on Ahuza Street in Ra’anana on the day of that city’s pride march. However, his religious appearance – a beard framing his face, small payot at the sides, and a kippa on his head – deprived him, according to a policewoman at the scene, of the right to enter the street.
D. was detained, handcuffed in public, loaded into a police car, and left overnight at the police station, handcuffed and leg-cuffed on a metal bed without a mattress or a blanket. D. pleaded with the policemen to release him so that he would not miss a business meeting in Cyprus with businesspeople from all over the world that he had scheduled for the following day. He could not reschedule the meeting on such short notice, and sums of hundreds of thousands of dollars were at stake. The policemen did not agree to his request. The following morning, the court released him under minimal conditions.
In the suit, D. specified that he had passed two police barricades on Ahuza Street without any problems. However, at some time, a policewoman shouted at him, “You’re not allowed to be here. Go onto Klausner Street immediately!” D., who was surprised by the command, responded: “I don’t have anything to do on Klausner. I’m going to continue on Ahuza.”
The policewoman demanded that D. show his identification card. However, “out of a feeling of outrage, the claimant refused to give the policewoman his card.” Then at least eight policemen jumped on D. and informed him that he was resisting detention. His questions as to the grounds for his detention were left unanswered, and his attempts to explain that he was not resisting fell on deaf ears. D. was handcuffed behind his back and loaded into the police car as if he were a criminal.
That evening, an attorney from Honenu representing D. was told that D. would be released the same evening. However D. was interrogated at 2:30 a.m., and at the end of his interrogation was told that he would be brought before a judge. “This was a false detention,” the suit stated, “there was no element of danger, the claimant is normative, married, a father of children, a businessman. The police should have released the claimant to his house.”
The grounds for the suit were specified, and included illegal detention, profiling (D.’s religious appearance) detention without informing the detainee of the cause, and the decision to leave D. in remand overnight. Additionally, D. sued the police for the financial and non-financial damages caused to him.
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “This was an incident in which a religious man dared to walk on the street on which a pride march was being held. A pack of policemen charged him, aggressively detained him and took him in to the station. At the station he was harassed: He sat handcuffed in a detention cell, unnecessarily and in violation of the law. He was fully strip searched as if he were some sort of drug dealer, as if there was any concern that he was a criminal.
“They left him overnight at the police station for no reason, preventing him from flying on a business trip to Cyprus the following morning. Harassment for harassment’s sake. The two judges who handled the case, one after the other, recommended to the police that they compromise. We consented to the judge’s request and agreed to the sum which he had recommended as a compromise.”
Scene of the detention; Video credit: Social media