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Ye Shall Have One Law” – Administrative Detention of Asylum Seekers Implicated in Criminal Activity”

Two parallel trends developed in Israel. On the one hand, judges ruled that Israeli criminal law does not permit tougher punishment against foreign citizens merely for being foreign. The legal system – albeit always partially – guaranteed the principle of equality in criminal law to any person suspected of a crime, regardless of their legal status. On the other hand, authorities established a discriminatory administrative track to indefinitely detain foreigners without trial, at times even contravening court rulings. This report focuses on this administrative track and the way the courts and authorities dealt with cases that questioned its legality. This separate track created a dangerously discriminatory distinction between residents, citizens, foreigners who could be deported and foreigners who could not be deported from Israel. The members of the latter group are in Israel, either lawfully or unlawfully, with a temporary permit based on the power of the Minister of Interior to grant visas and permits under the 1952 Entry to Israel Law. As opposed to tourists or migrants, these individuals cannot be removed from Israel due to persistent human rights violations in their countries of origin and their claims for asylum in Israel, a situation that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

For the full report