Photo: Nir Kafri

The Entry of Israel Law allows the State to detain people suspected of illegally staying in the country. If you were arrested for some reason, you still have rights.

Your Rights During the Arrest

– The police and the immigration inspectors do not have the right to enter your home unless a search warrant has been issued permitting them to do so. The police and the immigration officers must provide the occupants of the house with the warrant. The order must be written in a language you understand, and it must include the precise address of the house.

– No violence must be used during arrest. If you resist arrest, the immigration inspectors may use reasonable force to ensure the arrest.

– You have the right to make a phone call to inform of your arrest.

The Administrative Arrest and Release Procedure

– Border Control Officer:  Within 24 hours of your arrest, you must be brought before a border control officer on behalf of the Interior Ministry who will conduct a hearing.  This officer must review your case and has the authority to issue a deportation and a detention order. He also has the authority to release you from detention.

– If a deportation order has been issued against you, you have the right to receive a copy of it in your language.

– You are entitled to a period of 72 hours after delivery of the deportation order to appeal against the order. During this time, you will be able to present your claims to the Border Control Officer.

Administrative Detention Tribunal:  As soon as possible after your arrest, and not later than four days, you must be brought before an administrative detention tribunal operating in the detention facilities. The Tribunal oversees the decision to detain you and has the authority to release you from detention.

– It is mandatory that detainees who are detained for more than 30 days be brought before the court at least once every 30 days.

– You are allowed to apply to the Tribunal in order to request another hearing of your case.

– If you have claimed asylum prior to your arrest, and are carrying documents that prove this, it is important to notify the arresting officer, the border control officer and Administrative Detention Tribunal about this.If you wish to claim asylum and for some reason you did not do so prior to your arrest, you may express your fear of returning to your homeland at any point and to any official you come in contact with (police / border control officer/ Tribunal/prison official etc.)

– Asylum seekers must not be deported from Israel while their case is being examined.

In detention, you have the following rights:

– To have reasonable access to a telephone.

– To meet with representatives of the UNHCR, an attorney, and volunteers of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants.

– To receive three nutritious meals a day; hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste; appropriate clothing for the season (if you do not have your own); and blankets.

– To receive medical care as necessary.

– To be held separately from Israeli criminal prisoners.

– To be allowed outside your cell into the prison yard for at least one hour once a day.

– To receive all your personal belongings and documents upon your release.

 Release Conditions

Both the Border Control Officer and the Administrative Detention Tribunal in prison are empowered to release you, if they are convinced that you meet one of the Following conditions for release:

– You reside in Israel with a permit and you were unlawfully arrested.

– You are an asylum seeker waiting an answer from the Ministry of Interior.

– You are present in Israel unlawfully by mistake, or not due to your own fault, and will leave Israel by a determined date.

– You will leave Israel independently by a determined date, and if not you can be located.

– Detention may damage your health.

– There are special humanitarian grounds existing for your release.

– Due to your detention, a minor under your responsibility will be left without supervision.

– You have been held in custody for over 60 consecutive days.

All these conditions are provided that you cooperate with the authorities, and that you do not pose a security or health risk to public well-being.

If you believe that any of these rights have been violated, please contact  us. Our volunteers visit the prisons several times a week.  Please call us and leave your name, department and prisoner number, and The volunteers of the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants will visit you as soon as possible.