Ofer - Conditions of Detention, Conspiracy to Kill
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Kamal Zahar A-Din
There are noticeable changes in the building. The detainees now sit in a little wooden structure, only their heads are seen above it. Thus, we and the families cannot see their lower bodies or the shackles on their feet. Nor can we detect medical problems, such as cast on their legs, or a badly positioned foot. We can’t even see their hands.
Atop the wooden structure sits a glass panel that reaches above the detainees’ heads. They sit in a box, which makes communication and exchange of information with the families very difficult.
We attended only a few hearings, all were “arraignment” cases. In court lingo this is called “judicial review”: the detainee or his family receive the indictment: if he admits his guilt, the attorney asks for a postponement, which is accepted.
Two common problems often occur: the file has gone missing, or the attorney has not shown up. Here the judge remonstrated that this is no way to conduct a hearing.
In my opinion, instead of cleansing the stench of the occupation, the court merely sweeps around it.
Muaed Abd Alnasser Ahmad Hamad – ID 403347743
Charge: membership and activity.
Hamad is 21, from the village of Silwad. He studies fitness at Bethlehem University, and at night runs his own restaurant. He set up and manages a sports team.
Muaed was arrested during Ramadan. His mother said: “He couldn’t even eat the food I had cooked, so he kept on fasting the whole day.”
We have no information on arrests and interrogations that occurr during Ramadan, but it would be interesting to check how hungry and exhausted detainees react. Besides losing their freedom, they also lose their concept of time, especially when it comes to the breaking of the fast. Surely, the Shabak is aware of this effect.
Muaed’s father told us that his son lost 5 kilos after a month’s incarceration at the Russian Compound.
Muaed does not admit to being a member and an activist (of unlawful organization). His father told us: ”Really, after studying all day and working in the restaurant all night, how much time is left for activity in an unlawful organization?”
The hearing will continue on 15.7.19.
Abd Alnasser Muhammad Awad Kenaan – ID 989558267
Charge: Other criminal activity.
No attorney is present. The representative of Nad Al Assir is out of the country.
The judge gave the detainee the indictment, but the latter said he could not read and besides, he has diabetes. In such a case, having an attorney is crucial. Military courts have procedures of handling and receiving medication. You need to present medical documents that only the patient, a doctor and a lawyer have access to. Thus, no attorney – no medication.
The judge noted that Nadi Al Assir office does not function, so he read out the indictment, which mentioned that Abd Alnasser was caught in Qalandiya with a knife. (If he was caught with a knife, why is the charge
“other criminal activity”? Why isn’t the charge: attempted homicide?)
The judge added that legal representative is needed. In order that the case “does not fall through the cracks” the judge ordered the hearing to continue after the break.
Judge: Etty Adar
Anas Nasser Khalil Abu Seif - ID 405382243
Charge: Attempted homicide
This is a common charge in military courts, but we were unable to find out what’s behind this vague charge because the attorney requested a postponement to 6.8.19.
Muneeb Hassan Muhammad Alhatib – ID 994407054
Charge: property issue.
This is an adult with mental problems. He was the only one not afraid of the court. He sat with the other detainees but constantly flapped his hands, thumped his chest, addressed the families in the audience, laughed, sent kisses and asked to address the court; when this was granted he complained to the judge about his previous incarceration in 1987.
The judge said it was irrelevant to the case at hand.
At first the file could not be found. The attorney is abroad. When the judge wanted to postpone the hearing, he objected loudly. The judge listened patiently, then scolded the prosecution and demanded that by the time the trial resumed, in ten days, the file must be found.
The next hearing was set for 16.7.19
Nasser Aldin Gamal Ahmed Sharaka – ID 854551512
Muhammad Nael Muhammad Tal – ID 860092147
Charge: possessing and trading in combat materiel
Hearing status: memorandum
Atty. Hafez Burnat represented both detainees. They were arrested together and they share a file.
Both are from Jilasoun.
They were arrested about two weeks ago, on 14.7.19.
Sharaka studies computers. Muhammad Tal’s relatives did not show up in court.
The hearing was postponed to 6.8.19.
Alaa Saleh Hassan Abu Sharifa - ID 401524426
Charge: shooting at someone.
Alaa Abu Sharifa is 29, resident of Jilasoun and was arrested a year ago. He does not admit to the charges against him. We asked his father why the case has been dragging on so long, without any progress, and he merely shrugged. Perhaps out of fatalism, despair or lack of confidence in the courts; perhaps he was mad at the attorney and did not trust us; perhaps he didn’t want the guards in the yard where we stood, to see us talking to him.
The next hearing was set for 6.8.19.