The state’s response to the petition against the temporary order exempting the police and the Israel Security Agency from audiovisual recording of interrogations of Palestinian detainees: “the time is still unripe for holding a constitutional-judicial review” המוקד להגנת הפרט
14.09.2015
The state’s response to the petition against the temporary order exempting the police and the Israel Security Agency from audiovisual recording of interrogations of Palestinian detainees: “the time is still unripe for holding a constitutional-judicial review”
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On July 19, 2015, Israeli human rights organizations, including HaMoked, petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to revoke the temporary exemption from the duty of audiovisual recording of interrogations of suspects in security offences, established as a temporary order in Section 17 of Criminal Procedure (Interrogation of Suspects) Law, 2002.

In its response, dated September 10, 2015, the state argued that there was currently no room to consider the petition, given that the government and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset were expected to continue deliberating the temporary order within the year, as the order would expire on January 4, 2017.

The state also contended that the Law in question “applies only to interrogations conducted by police officers of the Israel Police, and this, based on the Law’s definition of “Interrogation” as “preliminary inquiry or collection of testimony related to a criminal offense, by a police officer” (emphasis added). In response to the claim made by the petitioning organizations – that this temporary order leads to discrimination, not just between criminal and security-related interrogatees, but also between Jews and Palestinians, as it is mostly the latter who are interrogated over security offences – the state stressed that it does not consider this a violation of the constitutional right to equality. The state held that “documenting interrogations into security offences might deter interrogatees from supplying information”, and that it was also important to guard “the identity of the interrogators of the Israel Security Agency”.

The state, therefore, maintained that “the petition should be deleted without prejudice to both parties”.
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