3 Jerusalem policemen charged with assaulting, threatening detainees

3 Jerusalem policemen charged with assaulting, threatening detainees

Indictment alleges officers intimidated teenagers with a dog; beat a handcuffed man

The Shalem police station in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
The Shalem police station in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Three Jerusalem policemen were indicted on Tuesday over the alleged assault and intimidation of detainees, including minors, some three months ago.

The three defendants are Aziz Ibrahim, 32, from Maghar; John Dao, 26, from Rameh; and Wafi Bisan, 28, from Yanuh-Jat, all Druze or Arab towns in northern Israel. A fourth policewoman, serving as a dog trainer, will face a disciplinary hearing for her role in the incidents, a statement from the Justice Ministry said.

On October 7, 2017, two arrested minors were held at the Shalem police station, the charge sheet filed at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court said. One of the accused policemen grabbed one of the minors by the shirt and shoved him into a room containing the unit’s commanding officer and the dog trainer, along with a Belgian shepherd dog on a leash.

The policeman shoved the teenager against the wall, the indictment added, and ordered the dog to “get him.” The dog closed in, barking loudly at the teenager, who was “very frightened and fearing for his safety.”

The policeman said he would continue threatening him using the dog if he didn’t confess, in the presence of the commander, who did nothing and didn’t report the behavior. The minor, screaming and crying, was taken out of the room, with the policeman telling him: “What you have seen until now is nothing.”

Immediately afterward, the policeman forced the second teenager into the same room, over the latter’s pleas set off by his friend’s reaction when he came out of the interrogation room. The dog barked at him, too, closing in, before the policeman took him out and threatened another encounter with the dog if he doesn’t cooperate.

In a separate incident on the same day, the accused policemen arrested two passengers of a car in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood, according to the indictment. One of the policemen entered the police vehicle and started beating up one of them, who was handcuffed behind his back, punching him several times.

Later, at the police station, the same officer banged the man’s head against the door of an elevator, “illegally and without any need.” He then proceeded to kick him several times in the legs and abdomen during the elevator ride.

The commanding officer then slapped the same detainee several times, stopping only when the latter started to cry.

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