Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Police brutality in Haifa during Peaceful Protests


By Henry James - May 23, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [protests] [Gaza] [Haifa]

Hundreds of Palestinians in Haifa gathered from May 20 to protest against the Israeli killing of more than 100 Palestinians since March.

The protesters in Haifa have also denounced the police repression, as they arrested 19 people May 18 during demonstrations organised in solidarity with Palestinians living in Gaza.
 
“Stop the occupation,” “Stop the Fascism” were some of the slogans heard during the protests which gathered Jewish Israelis and Palestinians living in Israel.
 
The 19 arrested remained in custody until Sunday night. Among them was Jafar Farah, one of the head of The Mossawa Center, an NGO Advocacy center for the Arab Citizens in Israel. He was hospitalised Saturday after his leg was wounded by police.
 
The Israeli Police responded with extreme violence against the peaceful protesters in Haifa, predominantly Palestinian citizens of Israel. Videos shared on social media show some people being beaten up in the street.
 
Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, in cooperation with volunteer lawyers, and the Human Rights Defenders Fund, represented the protesters and demanded the immediate release of all without conditions.
 
Adalah General Director Attorney Hassan Jabareen, who represented the detained protesters at the hearing last night, said on Monday morning, May 21:
 
“We succeeded to turn the courtroom from a space used against protestors into a space where police violence was exposed and rejected. This shift was possible due to social media, due to all of the videos, photos, and testimonies that were posted by the people that told the true story of what happened on Friday night. It was this documentation that convinced the court that it could not condone such brutal behaviour by the police.”
 
On Monday evening, all 19 detainees were released from Israeli Police custody, including Mossawa Director Jafar Farah. According to the Mossawa Center, the judge stated that none of the detainees presented a threat as the police had claimed.
 
Farah explained to Palestine Monitor that he came to the demonstration to search for his son and was caught up in police intervention and then arrested. He was taken to the police station where he saw his son among others sitting on the floor and bleeding. When he asked the police officers how they came to be in this condition he was himself beaten up and had his knee broken when an officer kicked him in the leg.
 
Speaking after his release Mr. Farah stated; “It is the legal right of every citizen to protest the actions of their government without fear of arrest or violence. The brutality of the police and arrests of protesters on Friday are not the actions of a democracy.”
 
Farah has demanded an investigation into his case and those of the other detainees who were hospitalised.
 

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