No More ‘Shameful’ Footage of Suspects in Court on Remand Extensions, Shaked Says

A suspect is brought to court for extension of his remand. (Reuters/Baz Ratner/File)

Footage or images of suspects who are brought to court for an extension of their remand are to banned, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Wednesday. Speaking in the Knesset in response to a question about the broadcasting of images of one of the suspects in the Bezeq affair, Shaked said that there was no reason to allow the images of cowering suspects, handcuffed and under police watch, to be released.

“Just because a person’s freedom has been taken from him, does not mean that their dignity can be taken,” Shaked said. “There is no justification to grind these suspects into the ground. Sometimes the right of the public to know must be subservient to human dignity. That right to know does not include the right to ‘peep’ into the private lives of people.”

Images of suspects are often broadcast in the media when they are brought to court for extension of their remand, after they are initially arrested. Many suspects try to hide their faces, by burying their faces in their hand, or by wearing a hooded sweatshirt or some other garment. Reporters are generally allowed to question the suspects, asking them about the crimes that they are only accused of.

The whole scenario is distasteful, and even shameful, said Shaked. “It is clear to me that people who are already in shock over their arrest do not need to be subjected to this kind of treatment. I, and the High Court chief justice, intend to change the procedure covering this matter in the coming months. We need to remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty, even when they are in jail.”

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