Palestinian thief’s complaint against police abuse suggests policemen beat him, placed banana peals behind his ears while capturing all on cell phone. Five officers released after questioning, rest to face remand hearings.
IOA Editor: Israeli abuse of and violence against Palestinians is so complete, extensive, institutionalized, and far-reaching that it cannot be “explained” in terms of “battlefield” or “interrogation” conditions. It happens in wide-open spaces, on the street, and it continues once the “target” has been captured and is chained. There can be no justification for such violence, nor should any excuses for it be accepted.
By Avi Cohen, Ynet News – 10 Jan 2010
“They shoved a weapon’s barrel up my behind, spilled trash on me, placed a rag full of excrement on my head and urinated on me” – These are just some of the harsh allegations which appear in a complaint filed by A’alan Abu Najma, a 27-year-old Palestinian from Hebron, against Tel Aviv police officers.
His claims are being looked into by the Justice Ministry’s police investigations unit.
Investigators of the Justice Ministry’s police investigations unit raided the Yarkon District Police station in Tel Aviv on Sunday and detained 10 policemen, including Israel Police special patrol unit officers and detectives, on suspicion of abusing Abu Najma.
He was arrested at the end of December for stealing an expensive motorcycle and trying to blackmail its owner. He was detained after one policeman posed as the vehicle’s owner in order to “finalize a deal.”
Ynet obtained a copy of the complaint filed by Abu Najma, which suggests serious abuse by the policemen. “Seven or eight officers ganged up on me,” Abu Najma described the arrest and noted that after he was dropped to the floor and cuffed, additional officers arrived and began beating and punching him, using their weapons. “They kicked me until I started bleeding,” he related.
According to Abu Najma the abuse didn’t stop there, and continued at the Kiryat Arba police station. “They pushed me to the bathroom and kept swearing at me using particularly harsh words,” he claimed.
“They said they would f**** me and my mother and one of them shoved an M-16 rifle up my behind. The officers spilled trash and cigarette residue on my head while laughing and mocking me.”
According to Abu Najma, the abuse was also captured on one of the policemen’s cellular phones. He further added that they urinated on him.
“They put banana peals behind my ears and a dirty rag full of excrement on my head and then took a picture next to me on the cell phone, while laughing and calling me a monkey.”
Blood found in urine
Abu Najma was later turned over to the custody of the Yarkon District Police and subsequently transferred to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center where blood was found in his urine.
On the day he was brought for a remand hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, a judge ordered that he undergo further tests at the hospital, the results of which were to be handed over to the police investigations unit.
“I wish to note that there is no justification for the violent and demeaning acts of those officers, seeing as I did not resist arrest even from the first moment and only begged them to stop hitting me,” he stated in his his complaint.
Following his arrest police sources claimed that Abu Najma had tried to escape and had assaulted the policemen.
However, the indictment filed against him last week with the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court did not contain a count pertaining to such an assault. The counts against him pertain to car theft, extortion and illegal entry to Israel.