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Authorities’ failure to locate a detainee: the case of W'I
4884/02 | documents: 1  |  Updates: 0 During and following operation "Defensive Shield", the Israeli military detained thousands of Palestinian residents. As the Israeli authorities did not uphold their duty to inform detainees' families as to the fate of their loved ones, many families requested HaMoked's assistance in locating them. Acting on their behalf, HaMoked contacted the military's incarceration control center, responsible for providing updated details of detention, its cause and the detainees' whereabouts. 

In June 2002, in reply to one of HaMoked's tracing requests concerning four detainees, the control center replied that none were located in any of the various detention facilities. HaMoked therefore filed an urgent habeas corpus petition to the High Court of Justice to order the military to disclose their whereabouts to the families. In its response, the state declared that two of the young men were indeed held in facilities belonging to the Israel Prison Service, but that it found no information regarding the other two. HaMoked was not satisfied with the response, particularly in the matter of WY, who had been arrested by the military in the presence of his family at his home. HaMoked's inquiries indicated the man was apparently held under a different last name in the Ashkelon prison, inside Israel. HaMoked forwarded the information to the State Attorney's Office, which nonetheless, after holding an additional inquiry, again announced that said person was not held by Israel, under his own or any other last name.
 
To resolve the matter, an attorney assigned by HaMoked traveled to the Ashkelon prison, met WY in person and verified his personal details. The attorney was amazed to find that WY had been held in the Ashkelon prison for over a month, during which time, his detention was extended twice; when all the while the state repeatedly asserted - even in court - that WY was decidedly not in custody. 
 
The court imposed trial costs on the state and asserted that "bureaucratic difficulties, which the military incarceration control center has to handle, are insufficient justification for failing to provide prompt information concerning the detainee's whereabouts".


HCJ 4884/02 - 'Ajuri et al. v. Commander of the Israeli Military Forces in the West Bank Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
Petition to HCJ  |  4884/02  |  6.6.2002
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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