Israel: CO Natan Blanc imprisoned for the tenth time
Israeli conscientious objector Natan Blanc has been imprisoned today for the tenth time. This is the largest number of consecutive prison terms to which any conscientious objector in Israel has ever been sentenced.
19-years-old, from Haifa, Natan Blanc declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army for the tenth time on 12th May, and was sentenced to 28 days in prison for his refusal.
You can send a protest email here.
Hear Natan speak about why he refuses to join the Israeli military here.
You can also read Natan's refusal declaration in full here.
Natan's previous prison sentences were 10, 20, 14, 14, 20, 18, 20, 14 and 20 days long respectively.
In April, Israeli CO group New Profile put out a statement alongside No to Compulsory Military Service in Egypt in support of Natan as well as Eyptian COs. The statement is here: Joint Statement: Freedom to Conscientious Objectors in the Middle East. In the photo you can see Natan holding photos of these Egyptian COs.
Ignoring international standards
Repeated imprisonment is a violation of international legal standards. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in Opinion 24/2003 on Israel came to the conclusion that the repeated imprisonment of conscientious objectors in Israel is arbitrary, and therefore it constitutes a violation of 14 par 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Israel is a signatory.
Natan Blanc refuses to enlist in the Israeli Army based on beliefs and conscience. He claims his human right to conscientious objection, as guaranteed by Article 18 of the ICCPR. In a decision from January 2007, the United Nations Human Rights Committee recognised the right to conscientious objection as a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, as guaranteed by Article 18 ICCPR.
War Resisters' International are exploring other international mechanisms that can be used to stop the repeated persecution of Natan and other conscientious objectors.
Natan's father has told us that letters of support would be appreciated. You can send them to:
Israel Defence Forces
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 Natan at email@example.com. He will see them when he next leaves prison.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad. An email letter to Israel's newly appointed Minister of Defence can be sent at /node/21735.
A list of Israel's embassies abroad can be found here.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of conscientious objector Natan Blanc, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.
War Resisters' International