Monday, October 24

Update: police harassment also during the day hours

Tony the policeman is at it, once more.
Remember Abed's unpleasant experiences with the police in Jaffa? (see post from October 17, September 23 and an earlier post from September the 9th). Tony Boukra, the policeman who harassed Abed before apparently has a good memory for faces. So does Abed.

Yesterday Abed was on his way in South Jaffa, close to the "funny bridge" (Jaffaites know which one i'm talking about and for the rest of you, i promise a photograph, soon) in broad daylight. A police jeep passed by, drove a little slower , then went on. One of the policemen was Tony Boukra, whose details Abed took last time he was harassed.
Abed is used to the practice, nothing special.

Yet then , when he went on, the jeep stopped, policemen came out of the jeep and stopped Abed for his ID.
Ofcourse Abed gave his ID to them. doing otherwise might land him in jail. The police checked it, then told Abed to wait.
Abed waited and waited, about 15 minutes. Finally the police returned Abed his ID.
The police were rude and shouted at Abed throughout the check. No doubt that, had Abed answered them in the same words and tone, he would have been arrested and accused of "bothering a public official in his activites or some such". Abed is aware of that danger, besides, he's never disrespectful of other people, he's naturally polite.

Abed requested the details of the policeman, who asked him why. Once more, the policemen were not wearing name-tags as they are suposed to do.

Abed said that he was tired of being harassed and wants to file a complaint.
The policeman gave Abed his details, a name and a number.
One more event in a long strain. Each single event isn't so problematic, it's the ongoing harassment that makes it so problematic. there is also something in the tone and the aggression in the way the police behave, that make it difficult. Rude is to small a word to describe it.
Israel is not a police state, yet. But we accept it, the police behave in a rude way, giving orders, making people waste their time by stopping them, in the street for unnecessary investigations.
I can in fact imagine a similar affair, stopping someone and checking his ID, in a different manner. Were the police to go about it, in a polite manner, "sorry to bother you, would you mind, have a nice day" etc, perhaps the experience would be somewhat different. In reality the police presence is threatening by itself, deeply unpleasant. It doesn't give me a sense of security at all.

There is nothing particularly suspicious about Abed, just a young man, walking around in a public area.
Or is that, by itself, suspicious?

More blogs about police harassment.

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