Sent: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Subject: Excerpts of Letter to PM NETANYAHU from SHMUEL (ZANGY) MEIDAD .-

Following is the translation of a letter which Shmuel Meidad (Zangy) , head of Honenu, sent to PM Netanyahu a few weeks ago when the Shabak arrested a few hilltop youth under administrative detention and tortured them over a week.

The head of Honenu, Shmuel Meidad, recently wrote a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu stating:” You have personally learned the extent of the abuse in our legal system. It is up to you to put an end to this great evil….”

Last week, Honenu CEO Shmuel Meidad (Zangy) sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, asking about the fate of a number of Jewish youth being detained by the GSS (Shabak)

The GSS recently arrested a number of young Jews  without informing them of the charges against them and preventing them from meeting with legal counsel. They were suspected of causing harm to Arab property. Honenu asserted that these youngsters, some under 18, were interrogated under harsh conditions at GSS facilities.

At first, the youth were forbidden to meet with lawyers, and it emerged that they were subjected to aggressive and violent interrogations.
In his letter to Netanyahu, Meidad wrote as follows: “In recent developments in your own life, you have learned firsthand how pernicious and brutal our law enforcement system can be. You yourself experienced and continue to experience the results a system which selectively targets and persecutes a specific person or a segment of our population due to hostility against their appearance or philosophical outlook. This persecution is legalized by categorizing the unpopular differences in political or religious outlook as a criminal offense.

“There is unfortunately nothing new in this system to me, as I have been accompanying civilians and soldiers to GSS and police investigations for years. The democratic rights of activists are frequently violated and rudely abused by the Shabak and the police. Once a file is categorized as a ‘Nationalist Crime’ — those under investigation can forget about having their dignity and fundamental rights respected,” Meidad added.

“We hoped that the harsh criticism of the courts against the GSS torture of Jewish youth following the Duma and the Dormition cases case would lead to change. But unfortunately, we were working under an illusion. The current case involves youth being investigated solely for property crimes. This has not prevented the GSS from treating them like dangerous “ticking bomb” terrorists. They were prohibited from meeting with an attorney; the interrogations were also conducted on Shabbat, with the goal of deliberately trampling their religious beliefs. When the youths were finally permitted to meet with lawyers, they reported serious violations of their rights in the interrogation rooms.

“The court was also shocked to hear about the excessive length of the interrogations. Judge Rivlin wrote in her decision: ‘A situation where a suspect is deprived of sleep and taken out of his cell for interrogations in the middle of the night is invalid. I find no justification for this kind of abusive investigation.’”

“As someone who is directly responsible for the Shabak, I appeal to you: remove the evil from between your eyes. You yourself are complaining day and night of selective victimization; of illegal forms of interrogation and the trampling of your and your family’s rights. First clean out the stables for which you are responsible.

“As prime minister, you are responsible for both the Shabak and the police, and therefore, you are solely responsible for the policy that determines who will investigate such cases.  It is in your hand as soon as today to act to correct the injustices that continue at this very moment,” Meidad concluded his letter.