Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

(JNi.media) The US Consulate in Jerusalem announced that it plans to intervene in order to protect the legal rights of an American citizen who is among the suspects in the torching of the house in Duma village. Several Arab family members were killed in the July 30 arson. According to Walla, the consulate wrote the suspect’s parents: “We will contact the Israeli authorities to arrange a visit by the consul. We have noted his medical condition and his need for medication for his allergy problems, and will talk about it with the Israeli authorities.” The letter concluded with, “Thank you for updating us on the condition of the detainee.”

The suspect’s parents appealed to the US consulate in Israel as well as to US Senators, demanding their intervention in the case in light of the fact that he is an American citizen. In their letter, the parents noted that their son was prevented from seeing his lawyer, that he is being held in an unknown location, and that his medical condition—he suffers from allergies and ADHD—has deteriorated during his interrogation period. “The suspect, a US citizen, should receive protection for his rights,” the letter pleaded.

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According to attorneys Hai Haber and Adi Keidar, who represent some of the suspects in the arson murder case for the Honenu legal aid society, the Shin Bet has been acting with brutal forcefulness. “There’s been a violent and brutal investigation that included disappearing people without bringing them to trial, and without allowing their families or attornies to see them, just to force confessions from the suspects,” they said. “Something alarming has happened in Israel, and once the protocols will be published the citizens of Israel will be horrified and won’t even remember the arson event in light of the conduct of this investigation.”

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel also criticized the policy regarding the detainees. “Using these tools is unacceptable and prevents a suspect from obtaining legal advice maintaining contact with the world outside the interrogation room. The Association objects to it,” attorney Roni Pelli told Walla.

“Of course we have to solve this murder, we but have to use legal interrogation methods to prosecute the culprits. If you want to get to the truth it is certainly not through a course that leads to a false confession because of the pressure applied to the detainees and the violation of their rights,” said Pelli.

The Shin Bet said in response to the claims made by the family: “The Shin Bet is a national organization and all its activities are performed in accordance with the law. Shin Bet interrogations are conducted in accordance with the law and court rulings, and are overseen by the Attorney General, the State Attorney’s Office and the courts.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I'm surprised the US gives a wooden nickle about any American in Israel, regardless of the circumstances. They never have before, especially since this American is being tried for burning down an Arab's house. I would expect the US government to let him rot in prison, condemning his actions.

  2. Back in the early 70's, I was on a kibbutz. I shared a room with 4 other guys. One of them smoked hashish and left it on a shelf next to his bed. We all got arrested for that. Our claim was that he was acting on his own, and we had nothing to do with it. We went to court nd were found guilty of something. Our fine was $14 so nobody got too upset about it. Sure, it was an embarrassment but there was nothing we could do but gripe.

    As an American, I knew I was not guilty, by American standards. The police had come because of a complaint about somebody else. They went to search his room, but they went to the wrong room. No matter, they found something anyway. So, they searched the rest of our belongings. Finding nothing else, they still charged us. They still found us guilty. The point is, they have their laws. When we go there, our laws give us very limited protection. We must follow the rules of the land, even if they don't meet American expectations.
    If an American kid is part of this crime, it would only be right if he got the best protection and lawyers he can get. But, he will be tried under Israeli law, not American. And, that is how it should be. When in Rome

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