20 August 2008

Letter 3.7

On Tuesday, my lawyer, Mr. Levi, told me I had to get the name of the cop who broke my rib and hurt my arm. I said I was afraid to go back to the station, but he (and others) told me not to be silly, so back I went. To make the story short -- I'm so sick of it by now -- the cops refused to tell me the name of my attacker, and did so so obnoxiously and insultingly that I finally said, 'Oh, go to hell', and walked out. They arrested me, beat me up, and threw me in jail. I needed a doctor very much, and, as I found out later, some people found out I was in jail and tried to get a doctor for me, but the police wouldn't let him see me.

That was Wednesday and I was charged with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. (I may have 'disturbed' their 'peace' -- as they disturbed mine -- but I didn't resist arrest.) The next day I went to Beersheva -- I was taken there in a paddy wagon, that is -- and was remanded for 8 days and refused bail on the grounds that I might 'intimidate the witnesses'. The only witnesses against me, of course, were the police, and it was a kangaroo court. Saturday -- surprise -- the consul came to see me, got the police to guarantee to let me see a doctor, a lawyer, and have visitors; and -- surprise -- they didn't let me see a doctor or lawyer. I did get to see my girlfriend, Tove, for two minutes, however, because one cop disobeyed his boss's orders -- so he told me -- by letting me see her. Jail conditions I won't describe. Call it the Palestinian suite.

Finally on Tuesday I went to court for a preliminary hearing and was released on 2000 pounds bail, which friends brought up from Eilat out of their own very thin pockets. The charge has been changed to; 1) trespassing 2) insulting the police 3) disturbing the peace. Nothing at all is being done about the beating (the first). I still don't even know the cop's name. (The second beating I had coming: for getting the first beating.) But I'm free until tomorrow, Friday, when I go back to court for trial. I expect to be found guilty even though I'm not. The maximum sentence is 3 years 7 months and/or 13,500 pounds.

Yesterday I went into hysterics for a while because of this and other things that have been building up and I'm afraid to go into town -- for fear of the police -- if they get me again... maybe they'll finish their work. And I can't leave because of the bail and they have my passport.

I don't know what else to say -- I'm sure I've forgotten something important, but I don't know what yet, If you don't hear from me for some time it will probably be because I'll be in jail and can't get any letters out.

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