Dear Mr. Zaki,
Re: Response to "Human Rights Watch" Organization's Follow-up Questions, Pursuant to Israel's Reply to HWR's Request for Information concerning the Publication of a Report on the Arrest of Minors in the West Bank and the Eastern Neighborhoods of Jerusalem
Please find below our response to your follow-up questions concerning the arrest of the minors - Ahmed Abu-Sbitan, Mohammed Hatib and Fares Shweiky:
- The three minors were investigated by the Jerusalem District Police, in accordance to the law and they were informed about their rights. Hereinafter are the relevant details:
- Mr. Ahmed Abu-Sbitan – was arrested on suspicion of stones throwing, after he was identified by a police force while carrying out the act. The minor was informed about his right to consult an attorney and he was given time to consult with an attorney from the Public Defender's Office prior to his investigation. The investigation was conducted in Arabic and it was documented as required by law. It is important to note that the minor's mother was present in the investigation room during her son's investigation. The law does not require that a minor who is arrested has the right to have a parent present, and therefore the mother's presence in this case went above what is required by law. Contrary to the information mentioned in the application for information, the minor was not 11 years old, but he was 14 years old at the time of his arrest, which means he can be found criminally responsible for his actions.
- Mr. Mohammed Hatib – according to the information of the relevant authorities, the minor was not arrested, and he was not considered a suspect, but he underwent an investigation because he was present at the scene of the incident. Therefore there was no reason to inform him about his right to legal counsel. It should be noted that the minor's father was present with him during his investigation.
- Mr. Fares Shweiky – This minor was arrested in accordance with a court order for suspicion of throwing stones and incendiary devices. His investigation was conducted in Arabic and it was documented as required by law. The minor was given time to consult with an attorney from the Public Defender's Office prior to his investigation. As to claims of false arrests in response to the minor breaching his house arrests, the relevant authorities maintain that the minor was detained once, on January 26, 2015, for violating his house arrest. He was detained for investigation and he was released after being informed, for the second time, of the conditions of the house arrest. The minor's arrest and investigation were carried out in the presence of his mother and after he consulted an attorney prior to his investigation.
- Note that all three minors were investigated lawfully and with meticulous care to ensure that their rights were protected.
Assaf Radzyner, Adv.
Cc: Adv. Hila Tene-Gilad - Here