Policemen Convicted of Assaulting Detained Jewish Protester (6/2/2007 Israeljustice.com)
“‘Because of this [the trial] I was fired.’ [Police Officer] Naim said. ‘Do I owe you something,’ [Judge] Efrati responded. ‘I was a [police] investigations officer for 15 years and I was at demonstrations.'”
Two police officers have been convicted of severely beating a handcuffed Jewish teenager who had protested the government’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank.
Tel Aviv Magistrates Court Judge Hanan Efrati convicted police officers Eran Naim, 36, and his deputy Eliran Avraham, 33, on assault charges. Both officers were said to have severely beaten Akiva Vitkin, 19, during what the judge termed a “passive and non-violent” demonstration in June 2005, weeks before Israel expelled 16,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank.
“The witness [Vitkin] testified accurately and didn’t ‘color’ his words with exaggerations and or facts.” Efrati said in his decision on May 31. “His version was logical, coherent, orderly and fluent.”
The prosecution presented a video taken by the private Arutz-7 Internet television that showed four policemen sitting on Vitkin during a protest along a road outside Tel Aviv. Naim was seen as inserting his fingers into Vitkin’s nostrils and then yanking his head back. At the same time, an unidentified officer poked Vitkin in the eyes.
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