Imprisonment and court martials for Israeli conscientious objectors
Use this form to send the letter below to the relevant authority (Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defence, Israel). You can add your own notes in a separate box after the standard text, if you wish.
You must include a name, address, and email address; a copy will be sent to you with a cc to the WRI office (so we have a record of how many email letters have been sent out for this particular case).
Dear Mr Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defence
I learned today about the imprisonment - in some cases repeated imprisonment - of several conscientious objectors in Israel. Specifically, I want to mention the names of some conscientious objectors: Jonathan Ben-Artzi, Matan Kaminer, Noam Bahat, Adam Maor, Shimri Tzamaret, Ilai Karmon, Haim Feldman, Ilia Ginzburg, Alon Endorn, among others. All of them are imprisoned because they refuse to bear arms, because they insist on their right to conscientious objection, as enshrined in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Their imprisonment is a violation of human rights.
I'm especially concerned about repeated imprisonment - in some cases more than 6 times. I want to draw your attention to the opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which stated in 1999 that repeated imrprisonment of conscientious objectors is arbitrary, being contrary to article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I'm deeply troubled about the news on court martials for conscientious objectors after 100 or more days in prison: Jonathan Ben-Artzi, Matan Kaminer, Noam Bahat, Adam Maor, Shimri Tzamaret, and Haggai Matar. All of them refused to enlist, and have to be seen as civilians. It is therefore inappropriate to try them at a court martial - if they have to be tried at all.
I therefore urge you to immediately release all imprisoned conscientious objectors, to pass legislation to finally recognise the right to conscientious objection, and to drop the charges against the COs to be court martialed. I urge you to respect human rights.