AG bypasses Supreme Court ruling on migrants

Attorney General Office orders law enforcement to detain migrants, asylum seekers without trial, against Supreme Court orders. Human rights groups: 'Surrendering to politicians'

The article allowing the detainment of migrants and asylum seekers based on suspicion alone was struck out by the Supreme Court, but it was revealed Monday that their detainment is still possible based on a different law.


The fate of hundreds of detained asylum seekers and migrants remains unclear, therefore, even though the Supreme Court ordered their release within 90 days. According to the Attorney General, it will be possible to keep detaining hundreds of them already under custody.


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Last month, the Supreme Court ruled the Prevention of Infiltration Law – which allowed the detainment of migrants and asylum seekers without trial for up to three years – unconstitutional, and cancelled it. 1,811 migrants and asylum seekers are still detained as the result of this law.


Rally in south TA following ruling (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Rally in south TA following ruling (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


Saharonim Prison (Photo: Amit Magal)
Saharonim Prison (Photo: Amit Magal)


Following this, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein cancelled an article concerning migrants involved in criminal acts, which is based on the law and allows detainment of some migrants and asylum seekers based on mere suspicions.


On Monday, Attorney General Weinstein's senior aide, attorney Raz Nazri, ordered law enforcement authorities to keep on detaining any suspicious migrants and asylum seekers, including those who were meant to be released under the Supreme Court ruling.


Nazri said that the authority of the State to apprehend and detain any individual whose release creates a danger to society still stands even after the Supreme Court ruling. He admitted that the article was problematic, but said that, until the preparation of a new bill, police and Shin Bet may still detain migrants and asylum seekers, under severe suspicions, who pose a threat to State security.


'Weinstein surrendered to politicians'

Human rights organizations criticized Weinstein severely. He and the Attorney General Office "are in contempt the High Court ruling, surrendering to politicians, and are betraying their mission to protect human rights," said attorney Oded Peller, who heads immigration and status in the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.


"The Attorney General and his staff are deeply hurting the core values of us all," said Attorney Asaf Weitzen, from an aid organization for foreign workers, which filed the plea against the Prevention of Infiltration Law.


"Rigid legal talk is just an excuse to extend the arrest of women, men and children, and build a separate legal system for Africans in Israel where they are thrown in jail despite Supreme Court ruling. We doubt that those in charge of enforcing the law are conducting themselves in correlation with the Supreme Court orders."


Earlier Monday, human rights organizations filed an urgent request under the contempt of court byline. While the Supreme Court ordered to release detained asylum seekers and migrants within 90 days, said the request, in reality, the State is blocking and not fulfilling the ruling for no good reason, as it has released only a few migrants thus far.


Omri Ephraim contributed to this article



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פרסום ראשון: 10.28.13, 21:01
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