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8.8.2016

HaMoked to the Israel Police: the mechanism for interrogating Palestinian juveniles causes routine violation of their rights

Recently HaMoked has been taking affidavits from Palestinian juveniles from the West Bank who underwent interrogation by the Israel Police, as well as from their parents. The affidavits point to systematic violations of the rights of juvenile interrogees. The minors are routinely arrested late at night, roused from their beds and taken on a jarring journey, often accompanied by harassments and physical abuse, until they are brought to interrogation at one of the police stations. The scared and exhausted minors are in poor mental condition when they are subjected to interrogation, where they are vulnerable to violations of their most basic rights, including the right not to incriminate themselves.

In a letter to the Israel Police from August 8, 2016, HaMoked asserted that Palestinian juveniles who were interrogated by the police were exposed to a sustained infringement of their rights, and were left at the mercy of police interrogators who were not qualified to work with minors. HaMoked noted that Palestinian minors were being interrogated without being allowed to consult with a lawyer or contact their parents before the interrogation.

HaMoked also noted that the interrogations were not visually recorded – making the minors under interrogation even more vulnerable. Furthermore, while many minors related that they had been informally questioned before the official interrogation, there was no record of such occurrences, not even in writing. HaMoked stressed that under the police protocols, the interrogation of minors was to be done only by trained juvenile-interrogators. But the affidavits pointed to the contrary. Additionally, data received from the Israel Police in response to HaMoked’s freedom of information request showed that in the police district in charge of the West Bank area, there were currently only 26 juvenile-interrogators, this while throughout the West Bank hundreds of minors were arrested annually, and brought for interrogation at police stations.

HaMoked asked that the Israel Police act immediately to amend the failures and demanded that the interrogation of juvenile Palestinians be conducted according to the Law, while ensuring the minors’ rights.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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