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Police Caught on Video Beating Demonstrator
Sunday, July 3, 2005 / 26
A gang of
policemen cruelly beating a road-blocking protestor last
Wednesday night was caught on an Arutz-7 video camera.
night, June 29, Arutz-7's Russian-language site's director
Tuvia Lerner set out for the Gush Dan-Tel Aviv area, with
the aim of covering the scheduled anti-disengagement
road-blocking protests set for that night. At one point, he
was standing at the main thoroughfare in Ramat Gan,
Jabotinsky Blvd., when he saw what he later described as a
"cruel, shocking and pre-meditated attack by policemen."
Lerner said that despite attempts by the police to hide it
by standing tightly around, he managed to film it on an
amateur digital camera.
Lerner's video testimony can be seen here.
spoke both with the demonstrator (see below) and Lerner.
heard someone call out, 'Photographer!' When I turned
around, I saw a demonstrator lying on the road, with three
Yasamnikim [special unit policemen used for missions that
require extra force - ed.] sitting on him, bending his arms,
and putting handcuffs on him. There is no doubt that a man
in this position is totally neutralized and cannot endanger
anyone. I should note that I had passed that part of the
road a few times before that and there was no violence at
all by demonstrators.
"I saw the
policemen surrounding this demonstrator. It seemed very
strange to me. I pointed my camera towards them and towards
what they were doing to him. The policeman who was wearing
an ID tag with the name Eliran Avraham tried to prevent me
from taking the pictures. He pushed me and kept on turning
my camera away and threatened to arrest me. His behavior
just intensified my suspicions.
screen of my camera I saw the officer, wearing a name tag
with the name Eran Naim, go behind the demonstrator, go on
top of him, and stick his full hand towards his face.
He stuck his
fingers into the man's nostrils and pulled upwards and
backwards in a fast and professional way, and tore his whole
face, including a blow at his eyes.
realized that I had incriminating material in my camera. I
saw how nervous/angry the policeman Eliran Avraham was, in
his fear that I might have managed to catch the act on my
camera despite the wall of policemen blocking it, and he
continued to threaten to arrest me.
That's why I did
not photograph the officer Eran Naim when he walked aside to
wipe off his hands that were filled with the blood of the
demonstrator. I didn't want to take a
chance on losing the material that I already had.
policemen immediately picked up the wounded demonstrator and
arrested him, while he was dripping blood. His head, nose
and eyes were almost totally covered with blood.
I disappeared from the scene so that the policemen would
think that I had already given in the material to my
editors, and then I came back to take more pictures.
"There were many other press photographers on the scene. No
one else filmed this very hard scene. But what worries me
more than anything is that I gave the material to the three
main television channels - Channel 1 (Israel Broadcasting
Authority), Channel Two and Channel Ten - and none of them
showed real interest in receiving it. This, despite the fact
that I had already done all the 'dirty work' and found the
demonstrator, who has still not yet recovered. He is
suffering from pain and psychological anguish.
fact that both he and I agreed to be interviewed, some of
the reporters told me, off the record, that it was a waste
of effort because their editors would not approve it.
me that the watchdogs of democracy had turned into etrog-preservers."
reference to etrogim applies to a recent remark by leading
television commentator Amnon Abramovitch, who said that the
media in Israel must protect Ariel Sharon "like an etrog" -
the citron used and carefully sheltered by observant Jews on
the Sukkot holiday - presumably, so that he not suffer a
political downfall before he succeeds in carrying out the
reported that he later spoke with the victimized
demonstrator. The latter said that after he was brought to
the police station, he was taken into a room while in
handcuffs, and there he was beaten by three policemen - one
of whom was Eliran Avraham.
A Gush Dan
Police spokesman contacted by Arutz-7 said, "We have
received the material you sent, and you will receive a
demonstator, named Akiva, told Arutz-7 what happened from
his point of view. His story (paraphrased):
"I was on the
scene of the road-blocking, and I heard the police near me
say they wanted to arrest me. Suddenly, four or five
Yassamnikim surrounded and grabbed me - each one with his
own job: One choked me, one bent my arms, one poked his
fingers very strongly into my nose up and down - on two
different occasions - and it felt as if he was trying to
push my nose into my skull. It hurt terribly. And another
one poked my eyes very strongly. They handcuffed me and
dragged me to the truck, and then to the police station. I
asked for medical assistance, they said OK, but didn't give
me. After about two hours, they wanted to give me water to
wash off the blood, but I said I didn't want them to wash it
off until a doctor sees me.
"A few of us
[arrestees] were there together, and we were talking, and
the policemen said to be quiet. I said that they can't take
away our right to speak. One guy looked at me as if he was
about to kill me and said, 'Is that so?' or something like
that. He then took me into a side room where there was a
bunch of policemen and they all started beating me up.
Punches to the head, kicks, everything, while at the same
time, one of them was trying to put handcuffs on me. When
they finished, they sat me on a chair, with my hands
handcuffed behind me, and one guy started slapping and
punching me in my face and head with all his strength. I of
course couldn't defend myself. It was just like one long
terrible painful hurt; I couldn't feel each individual
know why, but I still didn't shut up; when he finished, I
said, 'I'll see you in Machash [the Complaints Against
Policemen Department]. He looked at me again and started
beating me up again - and then a third time. He even gored
me with his head against my head one time."
related, "I refused to identify myself, or be photographed,
as is my right, and they put me in a room for a couple of
minutes with one of the Yassamnikim from before - maybe to
scare me or something. He said two things that I think are
very important. First he said, 'You guys work on the issue
of justice - but sometimes it's not such a good idea;
sometimes you have be smart, not right.' And then he said,
'What you got today is nothing compared to what often goes
on here.'" ... They finally photographed me, and then, at 1
AM, just let me go, just like that."
he plans to file a complaint with the police department, as
well as a civil suit.