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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Two Israeli police convicted of brutally beating demonstrator

Two Israeli border policemen were convicted of brutality today for beating demonstrator Akiva Vitkin and attempting to rip his nostrils apart. The beating took place at a road block in Ramat Gan on June 29, 2005 and was caught on camera by an Arutz Sheva cameraman.
The two Yassam-unit policemen, Eran Naim and Eliran Avraham, were found guilty of beating demonstrator Akiva Vitkin without cause during an anti-Disengagement road-blocking demonstration on June 29, 2005. Naim is seen in the video appearing to be trying to pull Vitkin's nose off by sticking his fingers in his nostrils from behind and pulling up, and Avraham later beat Vitkin repeatedly in the police station.


The policemen's lawyer also stated that "fingers in nostrils" is a legitimate police tactic against demonstrators, one that is studied in the police martial arts school. The judge later stated that the major issue of the case is how to set the limits of police force against demonstrators.

Officer Eran Naim was caught on tape by Arutz-7’s Lerner taking part in what Lerner later said was a "cruel, shocking and pre-meditated attack." Despite attempts by the police to obstruct his view by standing tightly around the victim, Lerner managed to film the attack on a digital camera. Naim is first seen on motioning to his colleagues to help beat the demonstrator, after which they sit on him and stick their fingers in his nose and mouth, causing extensive bleeding and facial injuries. Naim is also seen beating 58-year-old Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Katz, after the Rabbi appealed to him to refrain from beating girls present at the road-blocking.
You can read interviews with Vitkin (the victim) and Lerner (the cameraman) here. The video of the beating is below (and this is a much longer video than what is on Arutz Sheva's web site). Parental discretion advised.


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