Ofer - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension
Translation: Marganit W.
Morning and Afternoon
Most of the day I spent in Courtroom 7 where remand extensions are heard.
Judge: Lieut. Col. Eran Laufman
Three cases involved minors – all requests for remand extensions were accepted. In one case it was noted that the detainee pled guilty to throwing rocks. I just wondered how they got a 15 year old to plead guilty.
Next came three hearings of detainees, two of whom had no counsel. Two have been in detention since 20.8.15 and looked as if they had just been interrogated by the Shabak [GSS]. One told the court he got a phone call asking him to come to an interrogation. He came and since then has been in custody. He has no idea what he is being charged with. The prosecution asked for a 72-hour extension, by the end of which an administrative detention order will be issued. The judge examined the confidential file and gave his approval to the motion.
The second detainee stated that during the interrogation he was told that he was a member of Hamas. He denies it. The judge examines the confidential material, and IN ORDER TO PRESEVES THE DETAINEE’S RIGHTS, ORDERED 59-HOUR REMAND EXTENSION. In this case, too, the prosecution plans to issue an administrative detention order.
The third detainee was represented by Atty. Munzer Abu Ahmed, but this did not make much difference. The judge ordered a 52-hour remand extension in order to preserve the detainee’s rights.
The hearings allow detainees’ families to see their loved ones. Not all detainees can do so; quite often, family members do not get permits. Sometimes the hearings are very short, especially if they are for the purpose of extension or postponement. But sometimes the families manage to talk to the detainees. Today we witnessed a couple of sad cases: Atty. Ahlam Haddad was sick and could not show up. She asked to set new dates for her clients’ hearings. However, she neglected to tell the families, so they showed up in court early in the morning, but were unable to see their detained relatives. The judge informed them that Attorney Haddad was sick and that the hearings were rescheduled.
At 16:30, as I was about to leave, an elderly woman approached me and told me she had been there since morning trying to see her son who had been detained in jail for a year. He is represented by Atty. Haddad. She was told earlier that there would be no hearing, but she might still see her son. I spoke to the Prison Authority officer, explaining the case. He was polite but adamant: court hearings are no substitute for visits. The prisoner was already on the vehicle heading back to prison, so there was no point in the mother waiting to see him. I relayed the information to her and all I could do was hand her a tissue.