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HaMoked to the Attorney General: the Israel Police tramples the rights of East Jerusalem minors under arrest and interrogation, contrary to the law

The rights of minors, residents of East Jerusalem, are blatantly violated by the Israeli security forces as a matter of routine, in disregard of the fact that the minors are protected under the Israeli Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law of 1971. The trampling of the basic rights to bodily integrity, dignity and due process of juveniles who are under arrest and interrogation contravenes the Law, which stipulates that “the realization of the minor’s rights, exercise of powers and the proceedings against the minor shall be carried out while safeguarding the minor’s dignity”.

A harsh reality emerges from 63 affidavits HaMoked has collected from minors, residents of East Jerusalem, who had been arrested by the Israeli security forces between October 2015 and November 2016: minors are arrested late at night, often without an arrest warrant being shown, are taken handcuffed to the police station, and are subjected to physical and verbal abuse en route. At the police station, while they are kept waiting for the interrogation, the police officers leave the minors handcuffed, without food or drink, usually without access to the toilets. Illicit methods are used during the interrogation itself. All this, without any consideration of their age or condition, in breach of due process, including the obligations to notify parents of their whereabouts and allow minors to consult with a lawyer.

On August 9, 2016, HaMoked sent the Israel Police an application under the Freedom of Information Law concerning the arrests of juvenile permanent residents in East Jerusalem carried out throughout 2015 and in the first half of 2016. HaMoked requested data concerning the number of night arrests, the interrogation of minors without the knowledge or presence of their parents, and the denial of detained minors’ right to counsel.

In another application to the Israel Police, HaMoked asked for data on the number of East Jerusalem minors arrested between January 2014 and August 2016, the duration of their arrest (prior to an indictment or administrative detention order), and the number of those who had been released and the terms of release.

Despite the obligation of all public authorities to respond to such application within 30 days, no response arrived from the Israel Police for over two-and-a-half months. Therefore, HaMoked filed two District Court petitions to compel the Israel Police to provide the information sought under the Freedom of Information Law.

Additionally, on December 29, 2016, HaMoked wrote to the Attorney General to request his position on the severe and systematic violation of rights of East Jerusalem minors. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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