Young women arrested in Migron report strip searches
'They told me to strip. I told them to forget about it,' says 17-year-old young woman arrested during evacuation of Ramat Migron. 'Woman cop put her hands under my shirt and afterwards under my bra and felt me up.' Detainees consider filing complaint. Police deny allegations
Two young women who were arrested during the evacuation of four makeshift structures in the Ramat Migron outpost in the West Bank's Binyamin Council claim that they underwent illegal strip searches during the operation. Judea and Samaria Police deny these allegations.
The two women, 17 and 21, were arrested after refusing to evacuate. The 17-year-old told Ynet, "They took the young woman who was with me and told her they needed to perform a body search on her. She said that she did not consent and the police officers left. A few minutes later (female) police officers took her to another room. She left there looking shocked. She warned me not to let them search me."
Of her own search, the girl said, "They told me to get undressed. I told thm they could forget about that. The (female) police officers said to me, 'Take your clothes off.' I said, 'No.' They told me, 'You must. Either you do it willingly, or we'll do it forcefully.' They asked me how many layers I have on. I said three. I was left with just a shirt while a police officer kept watch by the door. The other police officer put her hands under my shirt, and then under my bra, and felt me up."
However, according to the girl, this was not the end of the search: "The police officer claimed that she is doing this in order to ensure that I do not have any sharp objects so that I would not hurt myself. After she touched my chest, she said to me, 'Take your skirt off.' I told her, 'No. There is no way.' I had pants on under my skirt. She wanted me to take those off, too. I refused. She checked over the pants. I moved the pants so that she could see my underwear as well."
The girl said that her friend, who is still in detainment, was laid on the floor and forcefully undressed. Her friend plans on filing a complaint with the Police Internal Affairs unit.
By law, police must obtain a suspect's consent before performing a strip search. If it is not obtained, an officer must submit a request to the court along with a justification for the search.
The detained woman's father said, "My daughter did not do anything. She only resisted evacuation. Why does she need to be searched like she is a drug criminal or carrying weapons? Why do they use a hand-held metal detector in other places to check if she is carrying something forbidden? Why do they need to be strip searched?"
The father intends to file a civil suit against the Binyamin regional police commander and against the female police officers involved in the incident.
MK Michael Ben Ari has demanded that Police Internal Affairs unit investigate the female officers for sexual assault and lewd acts. He has also asked that the station commander by suspended.
"It cannot be that the cover of law enforcement will give the police a free hand for their darker impulses."