Minor Wins Court Damages for Illegal Police Handcuffing

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled that the police should pay 2800 shekels in compensation to a youth from the Etzion Bloc who was taken to court in handcuffs. The law prohibits unnecessary handcuffing in a public place.

The suit was filed by attorney Menashe Yadu of the Civil Affairs Department of Honenu, which cited as evidence a picture taken of the youth as he was being brought to court handcuffed and footcuffed, in violation of regulations.

Initially, the police claimed that no handcuffing had occurred, but the photo proved the boy’s case. Subsequently, the police representatives admitted that they had violated regulations by handcuffing him. According to regulations, a minor may only be handcuffed if there is a reasonable risk he may attempt to escape or under other special circumstances, which must be stated in an official report.

In this case no such report was submitted and the detectives of the Yehudah and Shomron Nationalist Crimes Unit handcuffed him for no reason.

The state came to an agreement with attorney Yadu that a ruling would be given without explanations and that the compensation would be capped at 4000 shekels. Judge Ofir Yehezkel set the damages at 2800.

Honenu said that it is dealing with a number of similar cases in the legal system and stated that policemen frequently flout the regulations and deny detainees their rights time and again.

Attorney Yadu said that “this will remind the Israeli police that settlers and right-wing activists also have rights and human dignity that must be preserved. The gap between the norms as they are written in the laws and regulations and the treatment that detainees receive from policemen is like heaven and earth. I have no doubt that this ruling will lead to an improvement in the situation.”