Sixth Prison Term for Conscientious Objector Ajuad Zidan

                        – Please distribute widely –

Dear Friends,

We have learned that CO Ajuad Zidan, was sentenced to 30 days of imprisonment on 27 Feb. for his refusal to enlist. This is now his sixth (!) term in prison. Since our previous update on his case he has been going in and out of prison repeatedly, sentenced again and again for his refusal to join the military, and persisting in his refusal. By the time his current term ends, he will have spent a total of more than four months behind bars, with no end in sight.

Throughout this period, Ajuad has repeatedly appealed to receive a hearing from the so-called “Conscience Committee” – an internal military panel that is the only body reviewing appeals for exemption by conscientious objectors in Israel. However, his requests to appear before this committee were flatly ignored.

Ajuad Zidan is due to be released from prison on 25 March, and is likely to be imprisoned again afterwards. His address in prison is:

Ajuad Zidan
Military ID 5810026
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-4-9540580
Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.
Recommended Action
First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:

1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send Ajuad Zidan letters of support to the prison address above and to messages2prison@newprofile.org.

2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:

Mr. Ehud Barak,
Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Hakirya,
Tel-Aviv 64743,
Israel.
E-mail: sar@mod.gov.il or pniot@mod.gov.il
Tel.: ++972-3-6975540 or ++972-3-6975423
Fax: ++972-3-6976711

Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 6,
Military Prison No. 6
Military Postal Code 01860, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-4-9540580
Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General (note updated fax number):

Avichai Mandelblit,
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26
It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:

Gadi Agmon,
Commander of Induction Base,
Meitav, Tel-HaShomer
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Israel.
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52
For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.

Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to my attention that Ajuad Zidan from the town of Beit Jann (military ID 5810026), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for the sixth time in a row for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 6 near Atlit.

The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Ajuad Zidan is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. This is especially clear in cases, such as Zidan’s, in which conscientious objectors are being sentenced repeatedly for their self-same decision to refuse enlistment.

I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Ajuad Zidan, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.

Sincerely,

3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries

Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.

Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel:

Ma’ariv:
2 Karlibach st.
Tel-Aviv 67132
Israel
Fax: +972-3-561-06-14
e-mail: editor@maariv.co.il
 Yedioth Aharonoth:
2 Moses st.
Tel-Aviv
Israel
Fax: +972-3-608-25-46
 Ha’aretz (Hebrew):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Israel
Fax: +972-3-681-00-12
 
Ha’aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Israel
Fax: +972-3-512-11-56
e-mail: letters@haaretz.co.il
 
Israel Hayom:
2 Hashlosha st.
The B1 Building
Tel-Aviv
Israel
e-mail: hayom@israelhayom.co.il
 
Jerusalem Post:
P.O. Box 81
Jerusalem 91000
Israel
Fax: +972-2-538-95-27
e-mail: news@jpost.co.il orletters@jpost.co.il
 
Radio (fax numbers):
Kol-Israel +972-2-531-33-15
          and +972-3-694-47-09

Galei Zahal +972-3-512-67-20
 Television (fax numbers):
Channel 1 +972-2-530-15-36
Channel 2 +972-2-533-98-09
Channel 10 +972-3-733-16-66
We will continue updating on further developments.

Thank you for your attention and action,

Sergeiy Sandler

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