Mohammed Abu Khdeir is seen in this undated family handout picture.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An NGO on Monday appealed the extended detention of four Israeli-Arab minors, three of whom are only 15, under suspicion of rioting during protests over the weekend relating to the murder of Palestinian, Muhammad Abu Khdeir.
The appeal, filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, asked the Nazareth District Court to overturn the decision of the Nazareth Juvenile Court extending the minors’ detention by three days.
Adalah said that despite the charges of rioting, endangering lives on the roadways and attacking police, virtually all of the courts nationally, including in Petah Tikva, Haifa, Hadera and Beersheba had released minors suspected of similar crimes from police custody.
The NGO said that the lower Nazareth court deviated from this standard trend without sufficient explanation, treating the minors like adults.
Adalah also blasted police for interrogating the minors without parents or lawyers present.
It said that these defenses are fundamental rights mandated for minors under the relevant circumstances and also criticized the arrest of the juveniles and their questioning in the middle of the night between 3:00-5:00 a.m.
Further, Adalah slammed the lower Nazareth court for failing to explore alternatives to detention in police custody, such as house arrest.
The appeal is likely to turn on whether the district court, like the lower court, views the minors as part of the extreme wing of the protesters who border on being security threats and whose release could continue to inflame matters in the current atmosphere, or as misguided minors whose protesting got a little out of hand.