ACRI Appeals Against Police Use of Stun Grenades
In recent weeks, ACRI has collected testimonies that paint a worrying picture of the massive and unrestrained use of stun grenades, entailing a systemic and ongoing violation of the procedures regulating the manner in which stun grenades are to be used. This trigger-happy approach has led in recent weeks to the injuring of numerous individuals who were participating in non-violent demonstrations, and of individuals who were not even in the vicinity of people disturbing the peace.
In addition to the physical and psychological harm caused to the demonstrators, the Police policy over recent weeks and its hardline approach toward non-violent demonstrators create a serious chilling effect on freedom of expression and freedom of protest. Many citizens interested in joining various protests around the country are refraining from attending, in part due to the massive use of stun grenades.
Based on this evidence, we appealed to the Police Commissioner on May 25, 2021, regarding the use of stun grenades in recent weeks. In the appeal, Attorney Anne Suciu and Field and Freedom of Protest Coordinator Sivan Tahel noted that, in recent years, there has been an alarming deterioration in the police attitude to stun grenades, and its definition in official procedures has changed from a dispersal tactic reserved only for serious, fourth-degree disturbances. The police need to refine the procedures that allow for the use of stun grenades and return this measure to the fourth tier, as it was in the past. We also demanded that the incidents listed in the application be investigated and that the police limit their use of force.
In its response, the Police rejected our claims, arguing that stun grenades were appropriately used during violent riots and in accordance with police procedures.
ACRI's appeal to the Police Commissioner, 26.5.2021