Thursday, March 4, 2010

Israeli Judge Shamed As He Extends Child's Detention

The trial of a child turned into a farce when, to laughter from those assembled in the courtroom, the lawyer Leah Tsim, took a balloon out of her purse and gave it to Hassan, aged 12, to play with during his trial. This move prompted the judge to lower his head and hide his shame behind a computer screen.

This mockery of the legal system continued when the judge asked the father of the child to pay a fine of 5000 NIS (New Israeli Shekels), reduced subsequently to 2000 NIS. The boy’s father, Fadel Al-Muhtaseb, refused to pay and told the judge of the military court in Ofer, “What kind of law is it that brings a child to trial and asks the father to pay the fine? I will not pay the fine, and you must release my child.”

Mr. Al-Muhtaseb continued, “My son was brought to the court wearing handcuffs, with shackles on his feet so he couldn’t walk; he was very scared and frightened of the soldiers who surrounded him. It is ironic that the judge has extended Hassan’s detention in order to allow time for an indictment to be filed against him. They came to the court without an indictment and the judge is asking me to pay 2000 NIS fine; this is the ‘justice’ of the Israeli occupation.”

Hassan was detained by Israeli soldiers along with his brother Amir, aged 7, while they were on Ash-Shalala Street in Hebron. Amir was released ten hours after his detention. Mr. Al-Muhtaseb said he heard about his children’s detention from local residents, who told him that Hassan and Amir had been taken to an unknown location. When he returned home, he found Amir standing outside the front door.

“I received a phone call from one of the detainees in Ofer prison who told me Hassan was there and would be sent before an Israeli military court on charges of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers,” he added, before calling on children’s rights and international organizations to defend the interests of all children under occupation and to work with him for the release of his child from Israeli custody.

Source article can be found here.

P.S. I'm amazed that the Israeli judge could feel shame.

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