Israeli Activist Arrested for Allegedly Insulting Police Officer on Facebook

The activist, attorney Barak Cohen, took issue with the activities of a Jerusalem intelligence officer.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Police arrested a lawyer and social activist Sunday for posting a protest poem against a police officer on his Facebook page.

The activist, Barak Cohen, is due to be released Monday after being brought before a judge. Cohen’s poem vilified an intelligence officer in the Jerusalem District Police named Alon Hamdani.

“A green-eyed snake is roaming the streets gathering [intelligence] and harassing, devouring living creatures, without a uniform, without laws and without God, beating all the children unmercifully: Hamdani, a junior policeman, an intelligence coordinator for the regime,” Cohen wrote.

The quarrel between Cohen and Hamdani erupted after Cohen began representing fans of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team who were suspected of violence and racism. Cohen says Hamdani contacted fans and urged them not to have anything to do with Cohen.

Nine months ago, police even sought a court order barring Cohen from attacking Hamdani on social networks.

Police said in a statement that Cohen “was summoned, with the prosecution’s approval, for interrogation by the Jerusalem District fraud squad on suspicion of insulting a public servant. He will be brought before a magistrate’s court today.”

According to Cohen’s attorney, Pinchas Fischler, “This is a false arrest whose sole purpose is to shut mouths and intimidate a social activist.” Fischler said the police told him they were willing to release Cohen but only on certain conditions – including that he be barred from posting anything else about Hamdani on social networks.

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