The Public Defender's Office charged on Sunday that minors detained by police in the southern district have been mistreated and held overnight in circumstances that violate the law. In one of the cases described in a letter of complaint to Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra and Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi, the Public Defender's Office wrote that a 17-year-old youth had been held overnight in a police interrogation room in handcuffs and leg shackles. The youth charged that he had not been fed. The police confirmed that the boy had been held overnight in the detention room. The PDO officials added that this was not the first complaint they had lodged about lockup conditions for minors in the Southern District. In another complaint, the PDO officials told Ezra and Karadi about a 14-year-old youth who was attacked by three fellow prisoners in the Negev lockup. The other prisoners smeared toothpaste over him, stripped him, threw him into the shower and forced him to eat cola, coffee and soap. They kept this up for seven hours until they were let out into the courtyard. During their absence, the boy filed a complaint but was kept in the cell with his assailants for three more days. The harassment, some of which was sexual, grew more severe. Finally, after the boy testified in court about what had happened to him, the judge ordered police to remove him from the cell. The PDO added that they had complained in the past of similar violence against minors in cells they had shared with other minors. In another letter to Karadi, the PDO complained that a 14-year-old youth had been held overnight in the police station in Beersheba because there was no room for him in the lockup. According to another complaint, two Palestinians who were caught without permits in Eilat, were handcuffed one to the other and forced to sleep in a patrol car throughout the night without receiving food, because there was no room for them in the Eilat lockup.