Ofer - Appeal, Barred (from meeting with attorney)

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Norah Orlow, Tamar Goldschmidt, Aya Kaniuk, Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


Closed Doors and Solidarity


Last Wednesday, 27.2.19, in the middle of the night, Zakaria Zubeidi and Atty. Tariq Bargouth were arrested and taken to a Shabac [GSS] interrogation facility at the Russian Compound.

They were forbidden to see counsel, and the next day their remand was extended by 8 days.


Zakaria Zubeidi is a senior official at the Prisoners Affairs Office, and Attorney Bargouth, who is also affiliated with the Prisoners Affairs Office, represents many of the political detaineesinfo-icon and is active in the defense of underage detainees.

We do not know Zubeidi, but Atty. Bargouth is a friend of ours. We have attended many of his hearings: his determined defense and his compassion for his young clients have always impressed us.


Attys. Lea Tsemel and Farah Biadsi appealed the decision to extend Atty. Bargouth’s detention and the prohibition to meet with counsel.


Normally, at hearings of “barred” detainees, the defense and the audience have to leave as soon as the detainee is brought in, as colleagues who attend hearings at the Russian Compound report.

This time, however, when Judge Lieut. Col. Zvi Lekah entered, the court was full of lawyers. The judge announced: “the hearing will be conducted behind closed doors; I’m leaving, and when I come back I want to see an empty hall, except for the appealing attorneys.”

This is Ofer, what the judge decides goes.

Tariq Bargouth’s wife and his brother were present in the court.

The judge left, but then all the lawyers in the court decided to join the detainee’s defense.

We, however, had to leave. We were told later that Atty. Tsemel asked the judge to allow Bargouth’s wife and brother to remain in the court. After conferring with the prosecution, permission was granted.


Further developments:

Before dawn yesterday (Wed.) the police arrested Bargouth’s wife Amal and his brother. It is obvious that the purpose of this arrest was to put pressure on Atty. Bargouth to talk, since he has maintained his right to silence during the interrogations.

I find this arrest of the wife and the brother despicable.


The attorneys at Ofer immediately filed an appeal and even went on a strike to protest the arrest. They did not participate in any of the hearings at Ofer and Salem military courts.


Amal Bargouth and the brother have later been released on bail.