Knesset member demands criminal investigation into conduct Israeli forces against protesters of the Wall

On 28 April 2005, Adalah wrote to the Attorney General (AG), the Director of the Ministry of Justice’s Police Investigations Unit (Mahash), and the Military Prosecutor General, in the name of Member of Knesset (MK) Muhammad Barakeh. Adalah demanded the immediate opening of an investigation into an incident in which members of the Israeli security forces assaulted demonstrators, including MK Barakeh, and the prosecution of those responsible.

On 28 April 2005, the demonstrators, including MK Barakeh, participated in a protest against the Separation Wall constructed by Israel around the West Bank Palestinian village of Bilin. During the protest, MK Barakeh spoke with one of the officers in charge. During this conversation, a member of the security forces threw a stun grenade from a distance of half a meter, which exploded between MK Barakeh’s legs, resulting in the burning of his trousers and legs. Tens of other demonstrators were then also attacked.

In the letter, Adalah Attorney Abeer Baker argued that the assault on MK Barakeh and his injury, the fact that his identity as an MK was known, in addition to the short distance from which the stun grenade was thrown, raises serious suspicions that the grenade was thrown deliberately, with premeditation and in order to do him harm.

Adalah emphasized that the assault of the demonstrators, including MK Barakeh, was also a deliberate and illegal attempt to prevent them from protesting, which represents an gross violation of their constitutional rights to freedom of expression and to demonstrate. This is particularly so in the case of an MK, whose participation in demonstrations is considered not only a right, but also a part of his duty as a public representative.

In light of the abovementioned facts, Adalah demanded that a criminal investigation should be launched, and that the members of the security forces responsible for assaulting and injuring MK Barakeh and other demonstrators should be identified and duly brought to trial.

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