Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Health Problems

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Tova Szeintuch, Roni Hammermann (reporting)


Translation: Marganit W.


Russian Compound   


General information:


The Palestinians continue to oppose the occupation; the army continues to arrest them in large numbers, and more and more remand extensions are issued at the Russian Compound. For several weeks now, we have witnessed 9-11 hearings a day (compared to 3-5 in the past).


On 14.1.13 there were 11 cases in the docket, 3 were “barred from seeing an attorney”.


Judge: Avri Einhorn

Police Investigator: Omri Aweida

Defense: Firas Sabah, Fadi Qawassme


We did not observe all the cases. We’d like to report on one in particular.


Mussa Awad Mussa Awad – ID 852848373, from Hebron.


Atty. Qawassme agrees to an 8-day remand extension, provided Mussa is immediately transferred to Ofer Prison as soon as the investigation is over. Mussa can no longer bear the conditions at the Russian Compound. He has been prevented from seeing his attorney for a long time and his mental state is very poor – he even tried to commit suicide. He found a razor in the bathroom and slit his wrist. He reported being interrogated for 24 hours straight, until 4:30 AM, and he had no one to talk to. This was the reason for the suicide attempt. He showed the judge his wounded hand. Recently, he said, he has been chained to his bed for four days.

Judge’s decision: Transfer him to Ofer as soon as the investigation is over.

We shall report the case to Physicians for Human Rights and to the Public Committee Against Torture.


Our discussion with Justice Einhorn regarding the preliminary injunction of High Court of Justice:


At the start of the hearing we reported to the judge a preliminary HCJ recommendation allowing us to be present in court even when the defense attorney is required to leave.

The judge treated the recommendation as an old document that does not apply to him. He even voiced anger at the HCJ for recommending procedures that they himselves do not follow. The HCJ closes doors when it is necessary, he argued, and does not understand the special needs of military courts! The judge argued that “the only solution is to appeal to the HCJ”. In other words, we had to leave the court.

The judge noted his decision in the protocol. When we requested a copy, the Police Investigator objected, arguing that it includes the name of someone we are not supposed to know. To our surprise, the judge announced that we can obtain a copy only from Atty. Firas Sabah, the barred detainee’s attorney. Firas was taken aback by this responsibility and was not sure what to do.  It was strange to see a judge shirking his responsibility and shifting it to the defense.

In the meantime we have no protocol. We hope to receive it soon via fax.


[The protocol was later received]