Court to Probe Panthers’ Complaints of Mistreatment

A Jerusalem district court judge promised today to look into complaints of maltreatment made by 13 Black Panthers who were tailed for participating in a demonstration that turned into a clash with police in Jerusalem last week. Their complaints dealt mainly with insufficient food and lack of lighting in their cells. Eleven more Panthers arrested at the same time are free on bail. Two Panther leaders, Reuben Abergill and Kochavi Shemesh complained during the opening of their trial here yesterday that they were mistreated by police. Two other Panther leaders, Saadia Marciano and Charlie Bitton are still at large. An 18-year-old girl, Sharan Balan, and another wanted Panther leader, were remanded for five days by a district court today pending trial. The girl, a member of the women’s armed forces, is charged with having used an Army mimeograph machine to print Panther leaflets. The leaflets which have appeared in the last few days are marked “somewhere in Israel” and headed, “Letter from the Underground,” police sources said. Miss Balan was arrested at a Panther hideout. The Panthers announced recently that they would go “underground.” Police charged that the Panthers consisting mainly of Jerusalem slum youths of Afro-Asian background, violated their license to demonstrate last week when they burned a mock coffin marked “poverty” in a Jerusalem street.

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