When the police invaded Hassan Nadaf’s house in ‘Akka, at about 16:00 on Monday, October 5, 2015, nobody was really surprised. Hassan, a 20 years old worker and a well-known political activist, had already been detained and interrogated several times, and his parents’ house, where he lives, had already been searched before. Last time, on August 9, he was one of 8 youth detained after a demonstration in ‘Akka against the burning alive of the Dawabsha family in Duma, and they were all beaten brutally in the ‘Akka police offices before being held for several days and released without any charge.
More than 10 policemen entered the small house, most of them uniformed but some of them in plain clothes. Um Samer (Hassan’s mother) requested to see a court order allowing them to search the house. They didn’t have one but insisted on searching the house anyway, ignoring the quiet protest of the dwellers. They let the family understand that their visit was in response to something that Hassan had written on Facebook – a regular cause for interrogations in these days. They even said initially that they will interrogate Hassan at home – but then took him away. All in all, it was a relatively “polite search” – as far as this term can be applied when police invades your house without permission and search and take your private things. They took the home computer and a laptop, some posters, books and a Kufiya, the eternal symbol of Palestinian identity.
So it was a great surprise for everybody when Hassan’s lawyer, Jihad Abu Raya, who went to see him the same day in the Jalameh detention center (officially known as “Kishon”), was told that he is held by the Shabak (Israel’s secretive “internal security” services) and that he is prevented from meeting any lawyer.
It was an even greater surprise when today, Tuesday October 6, a police representative named “Marcel” presented a request to the Haifa court to extend Hassan’s detention for another 15 days (the longest period he could legally ask for) on the accusation of “possessing arms!” Um Samer protested to the lawyers: “Not only did they not find any arms; they didn’t even try to search for any! They only looked through Hassan’s personal belongings, leaving the rest of the house intact…”
Adalah lawyers, Suhad Bishara and Myssana Morany, prepared a fast appeal against the decision preventing Hassan from meeting his lawyer and presented it to the Haifa district court at about the time that the remand hearings where supposed to start. The low court judge was ready to wait for the hearing of this appeal before holding the remand in Hassan’s absence, but the state prosecutor office requested for time “to study the case” – so the appeal hearing was finally set for tomorrow, Wednesday, 8:30 am.
The “decision” itself, preventing Hassan from meeting a lawyer, a copy of it is published below, is the most revealing evidence of Israeli injustice when it comes to the oppression of Palestinian political activists, be it that they are in the “disputed” West Bank, Al-Quds “residents” or “semi-citizens” in the 1948 occupied territories. It is an order to the police, signed by “Lavi,” supposedly the Shabak officer responsible for Hassan’s investigation. In Israel, any official signature will require a first name and a last name, so that any person can know who exactly stands behind that order. But “Lavi” is none of these two. If you had any doubt about this – here comes the official stamp saying “Hamekhuneh Lavi” – or, in plain English, “so called Lavi”!!!
By claiming that if Hassan will meet a lawyer it might prevent the detention of other suspects or the confiscation of evidence, it actually assumes that any lawyer is likely to be engaged in illegal activity at the service of his clients. This works very well for the Shabak but it goes against all the modern concepts of due proceedings and it is not applied to Israeli murderers and rapist…
The remand hearings were another display of the annulment of any due process.
“Marcel,” wearing jeans and T-shirt, announced that the court is closed and that the proceedings are secret. To the lawyer’s request, he failed to show any official order to that purpose, but, speaking for the Shabak, he felt all-powerful. He didn’t even turn to the Judge before ordering the guards to remove from the court all of Hassan friends, including his mother. Just before exiting, we heard the judge ordering the “Nakhshon” guards, those responsible for carrying around and harassing the detainees, to bring Hassan but let him stay out of the court room while the hearing of his case will take place.
We waited outside while the three lawyers stayed in, doing their best to defend Hassan’s case without being able to talk with him or see the “secret evidence” that the police submitted to the judge. After some time, the lawyers were ordered to leave the court while Hassan was brought before the judge. Even eye-contact between the detainees and his lawyers is not allowed – all a part of the Shabak police tactic to isolate their victim, breaking his spirit by harsh conditions and torture, in order to force upon him false confessions.
In the end, we were informed that the judge remanded Hassan’s detention for two days, apparently feeling uneasy about the brutal rape of her court by the Shabak.
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Wednesday, October 7:
The court hearing of the appeal against Hassan’s prevention from meeting a lawyer was postponed to today, 12:30, in the Haifa district court.