New low: Duma suspects denied clean underwear

Attorney reveals prison breaches court order, preventing suspect's wife from bringing him underwear in 'simple abuse.'

Ido Ben-Porat,

Prison (illustrative)
Prison (illustrative)
Flash 90

Even as one of the Jews being held on vague suspicions of involvement in the lethal Duma arson was released on Friday due to a lack of evidence, new testimony revealed new lows in the inhumane treatment the suspects are being subjected to.

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir who represents one of the suspects revealed that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) on Friday morning prevented the wife of his client from bringing her husband clean underwear, in breach of a court order.

On Friday during an arrest extension discussion, the court ordered that the suspects who has been held for many days be allowed to receive new underwear.

Members of the nationalist crime division of the Israel Security Agency (ISA) updated the suspect's lawyer, letting Ben-Gvir know the underwear could be brought on Friday to a distant prison.

But after the suspect's wife arrived at the location and was forced to wait for four hours, she was told that because she had once been arrested in the past for taking part in a protest, she would not be able to give her jailed husband underwear.

According to the protocols, people who were in the past arrested are not permitted to enter prisons but are certainly able to pass materials to prisoners, and such transfers have taken place in hundreds of cases. Each time objects are brought in they are carefully examined with an X-ray, such that concerns of the suspect's wife trying to smuggle in forbidden objects are simply unjustifiable.

​Investigation or simple abuse?

Ben-Gvir responded to the event, saying, "this is simple abuse. It cannot be that they won't allow my client to receive underwear and socks for a long time while breaching a court order on the matter."

"This is no longer 'requirements of the investigation' but rather 'requirements of the abuse,'" said the attorney.

"It is no less serious that the wife of my client drove for several hours to the prison according to the orders of the investigators of the Judea-Samaria district central unit, but she was turned away empty-handed, and after she waited for hours at the entrance to the prison together with her infant daughter, they suddenly remembered at the end of the day to claim their protocols don't allow letting equipment in."

Ben-Gvir concluded by accusing the IPS of "holding the court in contempt."

The IPS has yet to comment on the matter.

The new breach of the rights of the suspects to have clean underwear underscores the bevy of rights violations already recorded - the suspects have been refused religious rights such as lighting Hanukkah candles, been banned from seeing their lawyers for over two weeks in some cases, and several have been denied medical treatment after being beaten during arrest.

To make matters worse, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) last Friday admitted that there is no evidence to try the suspects, and sources close to at least one suspect have revealed investigators admitted to them they know he is not connected to the arson.

Some argue the investigation is following the wrong lead, given reports and unusual circumstances at the scene of the crime indicating the arson may have been an inside job committed by feuding residents of the Arab village. Israel has reportedly left investigation of the Arab village to the Palestinian Authority (PA), instead chasing the "Jewish terrorism" angle based on Hebrew graffiti found at the site.


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