Sunday, May 18, 2014, 21:59 Two additional youths have been detained by the GSS and the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police on suspicion of involvement with a “Price Tag” incident. Both of them, one of them only 15 years old, are being prevented from meeting with an attorney. On Monday, May 19 the detainees’ families will protest in front of the courthouse.
On the afternoon of Sunday, May 18 the GSS and the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police detained two minors, one a resident of the Har Hevron region and the other a Jerusalem resident. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who attempted to make contact with the detainees, discovered that police detectives have banned them – both minors – from meeting with an attorney. Honenu will file an appeal on the draconian ban and request a urgent deliberation on their case.
These two most recent detainees join three youths, two of them minors, being held in remand by the GSS. One 16-year-old and one 18-year-old were detained on Sunday, May 11; one 16-year-old was detained on Wednesday, May 14. Only the 16-year-old detained on May 11 has been allowed to meet with an attorney. On Thursday, May 15 a deliberation took place at the Jerusalem District Court and the court ruled that 16-year-old detained on Wednesday, May 14 would be allowed to meet with an attorney on Friday, May 16 at 14:00, however immediately after his ban on meeting with an attorney ended it was renewed. A ban on meeting with an attorney is an extreme measure normally reserved for the most dangerous of terrorists.
On Monday, May 19 the five detainees are scheduled to be brought to deliberations on their cases. Outside of the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court relatives and friends of the detainees plan to protest and demand that they be allowed to meet with an attorney.
A gag order has been placed on the details of the investigation, however the court has permitted publication that the six detainees, five of whom are in remand, have been detained on suspicion of involvement with a “Price Tag” incident.
“Arabs detained on similar charges have not been interrogated by the GSS and certainly have not had the basic right of legal counsel taken from them,” said a friend of the detainees. “The [legal] system is in complete hysterics because of pressure from the media, and the ones paying the price are Jewish youth.”
On Sunday, May 18 Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beitenu) severely criticized the use of the extreme measure of preventing a meeting between a detainee and his attorney and called on the staunch defenders of human rights to wake up.
“The witch hunt of those involved with the serious matter of “Price Tag” incidents creates a situation in which minors are detained on suspicion of spray painting graffiti and prevented from seeing an attorney,” said MK Feiglin. “This is an issue of grave importance comparable to other that should shock anyone for whom human rights in Israel are important.”
“To detain minors (and also adults) on suspicion of violations which are fundamentally property violations, and to withhold their legal rights, all of this under the mantle of ‘the rule of law’ and of the courts in Israel, places Israel on the same level as dark regimes,” explained Feiglin and added that, “I have no doubt that if the matter concerned was a similar violation [committed by someone] on the other side of the political map, the police and other law enforcement authorities would not dare to conduct themselves in this manner.”
To reiterate, on Sunday, May 11 two minors and one 18-year-old were detained by the GSS. On Wednesday, May 14 an additional minor was detained. Two additional minors were detained on Sunday, May 18. A full week has passed since the first detention and only one detainee, one of the minors detained on May 11, has been allowed to meet with an attorney.
Photo: Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beiteinu)
Photo credit: Olivia Fitusi