Justin Tang, the son of Hong Kong citizens who holds permanent residence in Israel, claimed that an Immigration Authority enforcement unit assaulted him in his workplace in Tel Aviv.
On Thursday afternoon, the unit arrived at Philippe Pizzeria in Tel Aviv's Florentine neighborhood and asked Tang, 23, to present his ID. Tang claims he tried to explain that he wasn't carrying his ID on him, but the inspector ignored him and instead used force in an attempt to handcuff him.
Tang's shift manager, Shimon Harush, reinforced the complainant claims, saying that the inspector employed exaggerated force. "The inspector strangled him and handcuffed him. He was irritated and impatient. I was stunned. This behavior seemed unusual and violent to me," Harush noted.
"I didn't try to resist, I was just trying to look for my ID, but he didn't care," Tang maintained. "All he saw was my Asian appearance. I was shocked and humiliated in front of all the people that were there. This incident makes me want to leave Israel, although there are many people here whom I love."
Tang was finally released from handcuffs after his girlfriend, Natally Bar On, arrived at the scene with his ID. "The inspector yelled at me that I am in the way and then he finally let Justin go, without apologizing or showing any regret. He acted in a racist and violent manner only because Justin looks different," she said.
The Population and Immigration Authority stated in response: "Immigration inspectors were at the scene to perform their duty and asked Mr. Tang to present identification documents. He preferred to ignore their request and continued to use the iPhone he held in his hand. The fact that he speaks Hebrew or holds an ID is irrelvent and does not place him above the law, because every Israeli resident and citizen must carry and ID at all times.
"We have requested to review the tape that captures the incident a number of times but have yet to receive it. Either way, we have filed a complaint with the police against Justin Tang for offending a civil servant and interrupting his duty. We plan to file a similar complaint against Natally Bar On on Sunday," the Authority stated.