Palestinian minor files complaint against Israeli police brutality

Amir Abu Sobeih was blindfolded, kicked, had his head banged against the wall

Jerusalem24 – Amir Abu Sobeih, a Palestinian minor from Jerusalem, was subjected to violence by policemen during his arrest and interrogation. Abu Sobeih submitted a petition to the Supreme Court through “HaMoked” – the Center for the Defense of the Individual, after the Police Investigation Department decided to close the file of the complaint without a serious attempt to identify the policemen suspected of assaulting the boy.

Abu Sobeih, aged 17, was arrested in November 2018, from his home in Silwan. At 03:00 am, the Israeli police arrested him after storming his family’s home without having an arrest warrant in hand. After handcuffing him and covering his eyes, they took him to the Moskobiya Center for interrogation.

During the five hours that the minor waited for interrogation, he was subjected to severe violence by various police officers at the station. Some of the policemen kicked him, hit his head against the walls of the corridors and the tiles of the interrogation rooms, and even threatened to subject him to electric shocks because of his refusal to open his cell phone. All this happened while Abu Sobeih was bound and blindfolded.

Immediately after his release, Hamoked – the Center for the Defense of the Individual – submitted a criminal complaint to the Police Investigation Department – Mahash. Two years later, the department decided to close the complaint file without taking any action against the policemen who abused Abu Sobeih. An appeal filed against the decision to close the file was also rejected. Therefore, HaMoked and Abu Sobeih petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court, asking it to issue a decision to cancel both the decisions of the Police Investigation Department and the Public Prosecution Office to close the complaint and the file.

The Supreme Court judges, during the hearing, criticized the way the Police Investigation Department investigated the complaint. However, the Police Investigation Department did not do enough to find the policemen who accompanied Abu Sobeih to the investigation, and the department has not investigated them to this day. In light of the foregoing, the Supreme Court judges decided to compel them to return to investigate the complaint, and to inform the court of the results of the investigation within 45 days.

For her part, Jessica Montell, director general of the HaMoked Center, said: “It is very difficult to hold those responsible to account in the case of police violence in general, especially when this violence is directed at Palestinians in particular.

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