Police Brutality towards Asylum Seekers in Tel Aviv
On 25.5.2002, a physical altercation took place between police officers and asylum seekers in the neighborhood of Neve Sha’anan in south Tel Aviv. From videos documenting the event and testimonies collected from neighbors who were present, we see a case of extreme violence by the officers against the asylum seekers: forcibly holding a detainee on the ground while one of the officers punches him again and again; an officer sitting on the back of a detainee laid on the ground with the officer’s knee holding down his upper body; an officer pulling a taser gun and pointing it at the faces of those around him.
Following the event, ACRI’s Attorney Tal Hassin reached out to the Tel Aviv District Police Commander asking that Tel Aviv District police officers and commanders be immediately instructed to curb over-policing, selective enforcement, and the harsh treatment used against the asylum seeker community.
Several hours later, Minister of Public Security Amir Ohana visited the police station in south Tel Aviv, then published a Facebook post stating that anyone who attacks a police officer will pay for it with blood. Based on this, ACRI’s Chief Legal Counsel Attorney Dan Yakir contacted the Attorney General, informing him that not only does the Minister have no authority to instruct officers how to behave, he is encouraging them to commit serious offenses.