Photo: Haim Horenstein
Saharonim Prison
Photo: Haim Horenstein

Former judges slam AG for migrant detainment regulation

Attorney general's allowing of prolonged detention of Eritreans, Sudanese for suspicion of crimes as minor as petty theft draws fire from former judges, academics. 'Basic human rights are trampled,' they warn in letter

A group of 52 former judges and professors of law urged Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein Thursday to cancel the procedure by which Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and infiltrators who are suspected of crimes can be detained even if the suspicion pertains to misdemeanors and there is insufficient evidence to try them.


The procedure was altered at the beginning of July. Before that, regulations set by the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration determined that infiltrators and asylum seekers can only be detained if they commit crimes that pose a threat to State security or public safety.


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As of now, Eritrean and Sudanese migrants can be held in detention facilities for an extended period of time if they commit a felony which "substantially compromises public order" – a broad and vague definition which can also include minor property crime.


מסתננים בדרום תל אביב. נשלחים לכלא על סמך חשד בלבד (צילום: מוטי קמחי)

Migrants in southern Tel Aviv (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


As a result, migrants who are suspected of stealing mobile phone or bicycle can be held in detention for a long period of time.


"This procedure tramples basic human rights, including freedom and equality, presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial," the judges' letter stated.


By infringing on the aforementioned rights, the judges and academics insisted, "the procedure undermines the constitutional protection granted by the Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty, which is not limited to citizens and residents, but must also be given to every person, including anyone who enters the country illegally.


"This procedure does not only promote deportation but also completely deprives people of their freedom."



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פרסום ראשון: 07.18.13, 21:55
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