Install cameras in police booths at the entrance to Damascus Gate
ACRI and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel petitioned the High Court of Justice on November 22, 2021, demanding that cameras be installed in all police booths located at the entrance to Damascus Gate, that they be operated 24 hours a day, documenting what happens there on a regular basis, and saving the filmed footage.
Police booths were erected with the aim of providing protection to police officers stationed in sites with high security sensitivities. Yet many testimonies and much footage obtained by the organizations indicate that in recent years they have become a "black hole" of sorts, down which police officers customarily lead Palestinian suspects and detainees, laying them on the floor below window height, and roughing them up – in severe violation of their rights as suspects, and to their dignity and bodies.
The petition claims that the area of the Old City is among the most photographed, documented, and supervised sites in Israel, and in this backdrop, the Israel Police’s decision not to place cameras in their booths is gravely unreasonable and raises concerns of ulterior motives in the face of the severely violent incidents that take place therein. Installing cameras in police booths will deter police from engaging in violent patterns of conduct and curb the excessive and unreasonable use of force that takes place in police booths without any documentation or supervision, increasing the transparency of police work and perhaps even public confidence in it, which is typically sorely lacking in East Jerusalem.
Attorney: Tal Hassin
For further information (Hebrew)