Police officer indicted for beating ultra-Orthodox army draft protesters

The Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department files indictments against a police officer on suspicion of beating protesters participating in demonstrations against the draft of ultra-Orthodox citizens into the army.

The charges were filed at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court against the officer from the capital’s Lev Habira station concerning incidents at two demonstrations,  the Justice Ministry says in a statement.

In the first case, which happened on January 17, the alleged victim of the assault was at a demonstration in the Kikar Shabbat area of the capital when another protester shouted a racial slur at an Ethiopian police officer who was helping disperse the protesters. According to the indictment, the defendant apparently thought the victim had called out the insult and, after dragging him aside, hit him twice and then said “Understand?”

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men clash with police during a protest against the arrest of a religious seminary students who failed to comply with a recruitment order, next to the army draft office in Jerusalem, November 28, 2017. (Flash90)

In the second case, that happened on September 17, also at Kikar Shabbat, there was a protest against the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox draft dodger, during which demonstrators blocked traffic and pelted police officers with stones, bottles, and other objects.

The defending officer, who injured during the clashes, was deployed with other police to clear the protesters. According to the indictment, he three times kicked or kneed protesters who were being dragged from the street by other officers.

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