Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311.
(photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
The Haifa Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday convicted police officer Amir Rabah of
assault and obstruction of justice for his part in a saga of physical and sexual
abuse suffered by a teenage boy who made aliya with his parents from Miami in
Rabah was one of three policemen accused of beating “S.” in his
squad car after he was picked up for public urination one night in November
2009. Rabah beat S. repeatedly before taking him to the Karmiel police
station, where he and two other officers were suspected of beating him while his
parents heard his cries from outside the interrogation room.
two policemen, Ataf Barkat and Rimon Hinawi, were found not guilty, with judges
saying that it was ultimately their word against that of S.
found guilty largely because a fellow police officer witnessed the beating and
came forward to testify.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post
S.’s father, Lior, said that the conviction brings them some solace “because at
least one of those bastards is going to be penalized, but at the same time two
of them got away and are going to do it to someone else and get away with
He added that his son still worries that the other two police will
seek revenge on him.
S.’s suffering began when he was arrested for public
urination and was accused of possessing hashish, which he and his parents allege
police planted on him.
Because of the small amount of hashish, the police
attained a five-day remand extension against S., placing him in the Kishon
maximum security prison, where he was repeatedly gang raped by three juvenile
S. was eventually released and his family began their legal
campaign against police, first by issuing a complaint to the Police
In July 2011, the Haifa District Court found
the three youths guilty of aggravated sodomy and aggravated assault for abusing
S., which included piercing his ear with a piece of electric cable to mark him
as a “slave.”
Lior and his wife are now preparing a civil suit against
the police, the Prisons Service and the State of Israel, and Lior minces no
words when speaking of the lawsuit.
“There’s a civil suit coming that’s
going to look like Hiroshima. We’re going to come after them,” he
The family’s lawyer, Amir Meltzer, said the case represents a
“total, colossal failure” by police and prison officials, and vowed the lawsuit
“will break records for damages received from a lawsuit filed by a citizen
against the state.”
Meanwhile, Lior said S. still deals with recurring
nightmares and flashbacks, and he and his wife take turns staying up at night
with him to calm him when he wakes screaming.