Ofer - Barred (from meeting with attorney), Gag Order
Translation: Marganit W.
“The purpose of a gag order is to prevent damage to a person’s reputation or to a person’s life. It is aimed at protecting the interests of the public” ( Israeli Encyclopedia of Rights)
The question arises whether the gag order does not in fact constitute censorship in another form.
On 10.9.19 the Jerusalem Magistrate court issued a gag order for many detainees represented by attorneys from Addameer organization.
The detainees were also barred from seeing counsel. The reason given was that the detainees were under investigation and publishing the details would cause damage to the investigation.
In fact, the investigations had finished and indictments had been submitted.
Since September the gag order has been extended several times, the last time until 31.12.19!!
Needless to say, the various branches of the investigation find a way to publicize the information. In the last few months, whenever we came to the court and asked to attend a hearing, we were told the hearing was behind closed doors and under gag order.
In some cases, members of the detainees’ families are allowed to come in for a few minutes, to exchange words with the detainees, and then they are ushered out.
Thus, people who have been in custody since August, subjected to harsh interrogations that included torture, and against whom indictments have been issued, are deprived of a public hearing of their cases.