Defending Jews from Israel?
US to demand Jewish Duma suspect's rights

Consulate promises parents of US citizen it will get involved, after learning he is deprived legal aid and suffers medical conditions.

Ari Yashar,

Fire at Duma (file)
Fire at Duma (file)
Flash 90

In a bizarre turn of events, the US has promised to get involved to make sure the Jewish state does not breach the rights of a young Jew, who is among several being held on vague suspicions of involvement in the lethal Duma arson this July.

The parents of one of the suspects, who holds US citizenship, turned to the American consulate in Israel as well as several US Senators, asking for them to take action to protect their son's rights.

In their letter, the parents noted that their son is being prevented from speaking with a lawyer, that he is being held at an unknown location by the Israel Security Agency (ISA), and that the medical condition of their son - who suffers from several allergies as well as attention deficit disorder - has deteriorated during his investigation.

"The suspect, an American citizen, needs to receive fair rights," reads the letter.

In response, the US consulate in Jerusalem promised to get involved to ensure the youth's legal rights.

"We will contact the authorities in Israel in order to arrange a consul visit. We have noted his medical condition and the need for medication for his allergies, and we will speak about them with the authorities in Israel," promised the consulate.

The consulate also promised to relay information about the suspect's condition to his parents after meeting him, writing, "thank you for updating us on the status of the detainee."

"Draconian breaches of human rights"

The investigation into the arson murder of two parents and their infant child has been harshly condemned, and even Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Friday admitted that there is no evidence to try the arrested suspects.

A litany of harsh treatment has been testified against the ISA, with witnesses reporting agents brutally beat the suspects during their arrest and hid video evidence of the assault.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel spoke up against how the suspects are being barred from meeting their lawyers.

Attorney Roni Pelli of the organization said, "the use of these tools is invalid, and it prevents the receiving of legal counsel for the suspect and being in contact with the world outside the investigation room. The Association opposes this."

Pelli said the ISA is trying to "pressure the suspect to confess the suspicions. The security sources have a lot of tools to investigate suspicions like these, but to breach human rights in such as draconian manner is invalid in terms of human rights in a criminal proceeding."

"One of the goals of a criminal investigation is to investigate the truth, and it is known that the more pressure that is exerted, the more concerns rise that a false confession will be extracted," warned Pelli. "In order to guard human rights, even of suspects in serious offenses, there is a price that a democracy must pay."

"This isn't Argentina!"

Attorneys Adi Keidar, Chai Haber and Itamar Ben-Gvir held a press conference on Thursday night to complain about the "heavy-handed, violent" investigation that they argue has breached the basic rights of their clients.

Ben-Gvir detailed how his client was beaten and wounded in his arrest according to testimony by the suspect's wife, and noted with concern that the suspect was not brought to the court on Thursday in an apparent attempt to hide his medical condition.

"We are not in Argentina!," he exclaimed. "It can't be that in the state of Israel they make people disappear in the basement of the general security services headquarters and no one opens their mouth."

Keidar noted that the police admitted in court that they presented false figures in the initial arrest warrants, and despite that the court accepted what the attorney termed an attempt to make the legal defense "fail."

ISA is trying to get "confessions by force," accused Haber, saying, "we receive indications of lengthy hours of interrogation, sometimes beyond what the law allows, detainment in substandard conditions, not giving required medical treatment, and not giving food in a fixed and appropriate manner."


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