Enemy Citizens

Amjad Iraqi

Two Arab teenagers who had been arrested at an anti-government protest were waiting to see a lawyer at a police station in Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel. Their shirts were torn and their arms, legs and faces were covered in cuts and bruises. The lawyer turned to a police officer and demanded an explanation. The officer denied any wrongdoing: the police, he said, had used ‘reasonable force’ to detain them. At the court hearing that followed, the lawyer insisted that the boys be released and the police officers reprimanded for breaking laws regarding excessive force and the protection of minors. The judge waved his arguments away: ‘These are special security circumstances, and we must respond to these incidents [the demonstrations] with this in mind.’ The boys’ detentions were extended for several days, and then they were put under house arrest.

The full text of this essay is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in