Record Number of Arrests this Year
The Public Defender's Office's annual report says that the number of arrests carried out for purpose of interrogation has grown considerably, and that in most of these cases, no charges were ever brought before the person who was arrested.
In the course of the last 12 months, about 62,000 arrests were carried out – the largest number in the last 10 years, according to a report on Voice of Israel public radio.
The Public Defender's Office said that the police continue to arrest people and leave them under arrest overnight without justification, only to bring them before a judge in the morning and ask that they be freed under restraining conditions. This procedure is illegal, the Public Defender's Office said, because police are supposed to free the suspects under similar conditions at the police station, with the suspects' own consent.
Most people arrested in Israel do not get the chance to implement their right to see a lawyer before being questioned in the police station, the Public Defender's Office added.
The police said in response that the purpose of arrests for periods of days is not the filing of charge sheets, but advancement of an investigation. They also say that the report gives only a partial picture, because it only deals with cases in which suspects are released on bail, and not with numerous cases in which suspects are released at the police station without posting bail.