Israel Moves to Keep Security Interrogations From Being Filmed

The exemption, only for security cases, gets extended every few years, but some legislators want it stopped.

Israeli interrogators questioning a Palestinian boy.
Screenshot

The Public Security Ministry has proposed its latest bill to exempt security interrogations from being videotaped, for fear the footage could reach terror groups that would learn Israeli interrogation techniques.

There is also the fear that witnesses would refuse to reveal information in the event the video reached the groups they had informed against, the Shin Bet security service says.

A year ago, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee agreed to extend the exemption for a year and a half, but rejected one for five years.

In 2003, a law came into effect that requires the police to document almost all its interrogations, both visually and aurally. Since then the committee has consistently approved an exemption for security interrogations; the exemption is extended every few years.

“The exemption stems from security considerations,” Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazri said Thursday. “We don’t want the documentation of suspects who confess to wind up in places we don’t want it to go.”

A year ago, MK Nissim Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi), the chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, strongly criticized the submission of the latest request.

“In the minutes of the previous discussion it says that in exchange for the last extension the government promised there would be no more extensions,” he said at the time. “Not only are you coming with another one, you’re coming at the last moment. The committee’s dignity is important to me, and this looks like contempt.”