The Shin Bet security service (Shabak) announced Sunday that two suspects currently being held in connection with the deadly arson in Duma last summer will be released to house arrest.
Among the pair is a minor who it was revealed earlier Sunday was in fact being held illegally by the Shin Bet.The young detainee – who, like his co-detained, is being held without charge – spent 25 days in solitary confinement without access to his lawyers, and was allegedly subjected to extreme violence at the hands of his interrogators.
Defense attorney Avichai Hajbi, who works for the Honenu legal rights NGO, hailed the release as a vindication.
Their release “testifies like one thousand witnesses that the truth has prevailed,” he said.
“Throughout the entire investigation we insisted again and again that we are talking about someone who is innocent of the charges, and the entire function of the security services throughout this period has been to try to extract water from a stone.”
“The conduct of the general security services (Shin Bet) has been an exercise to extract false confessions via physical attacks and verbal violence (against the detainees), and preventing meetings with attorneys,” Hajbi added.
The dramatic announcement comes just hours after the Shin Bet claimed to have made “significant progress” in the investigation into the deadly arson attack, which killed three members of the Palestinian Dawabshe family.
But defense attorneys retorted that the “news” – which the Shin Bet failed to elaborate on – was merely a political ruse to alleviate growing pressure over emerging reports of the abuse of the detainees’ rights.
Prior to the hearing at which the detainees’ release was announced, friends of the suspects demonstrated outside the Petah Tikvah courthouse, protesting their innocence.