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(en) Israel, Media, Investigation For Incitement Against "Indymedia" (Israel*) Closed

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 8 Mar 2005 10:57:14 +0100 (CET)

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The investigation was opened by [former legal advisor of state]
Rubinstein following publication of a picture of Sharon kissing Hitler
The state announced yesterday (Tuesday) the closure of the
investigation case for suspected incitement against the internet site
"Indymedia" (Israel). With that, the Assistant State Attorney for
Special Tasks, Attorney Shai Nitzan, stressed that he does not view the
steps being taken against web-sites as detracting from the freedom of
expression but rather as a tool in the struggle against racism and violence.
The investigation against the site's administrators was opened in
December 2003, by order of the former Attorney General legal Elyakim
Rubinstein, following publication of a caricature by a user from abroad,
in which Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is seen kissing with Hitler.
Shortly following the opening of the investigation the Association for
Civil Rights Attorney Avner Pinchuck contacted Rubinstein and called
on him to drop the investigation against the administrators of the
"Indymedia" web-site.

Attorney Pinchuck claimed that Rubinstein's orders to open the
investigation contradict the recommendations of the Spanic
Committee (a committee established at the Ministry of Justice, chaired
by Attorney Tana Spanic, to analyze electronic trade), that internet
service providers should not be held responsible for publications that
are not their own in regards to everything relating to damage claims or
copyright laws. "The investigation and the manner in which it has
been carried out threatens to choke the public space offered by the
internet and the public discourse occurring within it", wrote Pinchuck
to Rubinstein.

Attorney Nitzan announced in a letter to the Association for Civil
Rights, that after analyzing the finding of the investigation against
"Indymedia" he decided, on the decision of the Attorney General Meni
Mazuz and the State Practitioner Eran Shender, on dropping the case.
This, even though the site did not go off-line, but moved to the global
"Indymedia" web-site and appears under the link Israel.

With that, Nitzan stressed that opening a criminal investigation against
the administrators of internet sites for incitement doesn't contradict the
recommendations of the Spanic Committee that refer to civil
responsibility only. In that, Attorney Nitzan denied the latest
publications that the Ministry of Justice has lately contacted site
administrators and demanded them to be more prudent about editing
inciting and violent comments by users. According to him, there were
individual cases where the Legal Department contacted site
administrators following specific publications.

original publication in ha'aretz.co.il
* Ed. note: http://israel.indymedia.org is administered
mainly by people of the Tel Aviv anarchist scene which
include the core of the Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall/fence

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