Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 13:26 At approximately 2:30 AM on Wednesday,
November 9, large numbers of Yassam (Special Forces), police and police detective forces arrived in five police vehicles at a home in Yitzhar and demanded entry in order to detain one of the children, who is suspected of insulting a policeman on Facebook. The forces raided the home, detained the youth and his father and confiscated computers and a cell phone with which the mother recorded the raid.
When the police demanded entry, the father, who is in his 50’s, asked through a window to see the detention warrant. The policemen agreed only to present the warrant from a distance and refused to read it, despite the father’s explanation that he suffers from a cataract. The policemen broke into the house and when the father took the warrant in order to read it, they brutally detained him on suspicion of assaulting a policeman.
Both the youth and his father were taken for interrogation to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police. It turned out that the accusations against the youth are for insulting a policeman in a status posted on Facebook and for disturbing a policeman when insisting that the policemen bring his sick father’s medicines.
The youth wrote the Facebook post approximately six months ago after a kindergarten teacher was detained in the middle of the night in Yitzhar on suspicion of intending to disrupt an upcoming Pride March. She was taken with her sleeping baby at approximately 2:00 AM. The detention raised considerable interest due to the fact that it was carried out on the basis of apparently erroneous investigative material.
The Facebook post included a photograph of a Yassam policeman, Nir Shukrun, and a derogatory description in the detainees words which concluded with: “[Shukrun] just participated in the detention of someone from our community (a mother of children, including a baby). To his friends he certainly says that he stays up at night for our security – share this photo so that they can see what he really does. To clear all doubts – she is not a dangerous criminal who cannot be reached in any other way. In fact they hadn’t even sent her a summons to interrogation beforehand. They’re just harassing.”
Honenu notes that the remarks are protected under freedom of expression and there is a large body of rulings on the subject. Additionally the post is from approximately six months ago and according to the youth he had not been summoned for interrogation about the matter.
Honenu Attorney Rehavia Piltz, who arrived at the police station to provide the youth and his father with legal counsel stated that, “This was a violent and serious detention. The heavy-handed conduct of the police which began with opening an investigation into something protected by freedom of expression continued with the brutal arrival at a family’s home in the middle of the night by a large number of police forces and harassment of the entire family, including the sick father. We hope that the father and his son will be released soon. We will file complaints and consider filing a civil suit against the violent policemen.’