Ofer - Stone Throwing, Minors
Translation: Marganit W.
When Tamar and I arrived this morning, hearings were conducted only in Justice Major Meir Vigisser’s court. Most cases involved people caught staying illegally in Israel and rock throwers.
Two minors were brought in, one was from Al-Aroub; as for the other case, after some discussion between the judge and the defense, it was decided to hold it behind closed doors.
We left the court and returned later to hear the case of the other minor and here is our report:
Muhammad Abed Al-Wahab Halek,ID 41169827–Case 2569/13
Prosecutor: Lieut. Dvir Wiesel
Defense: Atty. Mahmoud Hassan
Aya Kaniuk and Tamar Goldschmidt attended an earlier hearing in this case on 7.4.13.
I recommend reading their report in their mahsanmilim site. They give a link to an Adameer/DCI report of Muhammad’s case, which is typical of thousands other cases of young boys: the army raids their house in the middle of the night, arrests them, interrogates them without the presence of a special youth investigator, pressures them to incriminate their friends etc.
Muhammad Halek was born in 1998 with a heart defect. Normally, he carries a list of his medications, but he did not have it on him when he was kidnapped from bed in the middle of the night. An earlier order by a judge to have him checked by a doctor had not been carried out. You could clearly see the broken bridge on his teeth, and Atty. Hassan insisted that the judge see it too. In reply to the attorney’s questions, the boy reported being beaten (but that cannot be proved).
The judge includes in his decision an order to give a protocol of the hearing to the court authority with a view to opening an investigation.
We have no doubt that a thorough investigation will follow, the truth will come out and the culprits will be punished.
In the attached protocol [in Hebrew] you can read the attorney’s expert explanation on how youth interrogations are conducted. He listens carefully to the recordings and hears also what the investigators do not want us to hear.
The hearing will resume on Wed. 17.4.13, possibly with a plea bargain.
It is hard to describe Muhammad’s beaming face when he heard that he might sit “only” a month in jail.
Outside the court we spoke to Muhammad’s father. His family immigrated to the US many years ago. Today he is a businessman having returned to Palestine a while ago. However, he has lost his ID card and needs to renew his resident permit every three months. One can imagine the hardship facing a man whose family lives in Palestine while he has no guarantee that his visa will be extended and he will be able to live with his family.