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Israel Police skirt law, create migrant DNA database

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The following is an excerpt.

Police have been collecting for over a year now the DNA of African migrants who cross into Israel from Egypt and are incarcerated at the Negev’s Saharonim detention facility. The police wanted to find a way to collect the DNA of the migrants before they disappear in Tel Aviv, as a means of helping them solve crimes in which African migrants are suspected of involvement.

Senior police officials had sought permission in the past to collect such samples, and had even approached Knesset committees about it, but were turned down after encountering public opposition and legal hurdles. Until January 2012, police had no legal means of collecting the DNA. Only the Israel Prison Service can legally collect the samples, but those it took were not the right kind to help police investigations.

Police then found a way of getting around the obstacles to collecting the samples. They did so using the fact that by entering the country illegally, the migrants were committing a security-related crime. This meant that the police were authorized to collect DNA samples from suspects in such a crime − the African migrants.

View the original article here: Israel Police skirt law, create migrant DNA database

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