ISRAEL: Seventh imprisonment for Druze CO Omar Saad
Omar Saad, a Druze conscientious objector in Israel, was imprisoned on 13th April for 40 days. This is his seventh imprisonment so far for his refusal to join the armed forces.
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Previous prison sentences have been for 20 days. This one is twice that. Omar has now been in prison for over 100 days in total.
'...Even if they arrest me sixty more times.'
After being sentenced for the sixth time, Omar issued a public statement, saying: 'To be honest, I did not expect better than that, an occupying authority that put on trial the Druze Sheikhs because of their visit to their holy sites in Syria, and prosecute members of the Arab Parliament for their political activities, and an occupying authority that kills youth with cold-blood, and detain women and children, cannot be respected or trusted. I Omar Zahr Eldin Mohammad Saad declare again; I will not serve in the Israeli military army, even if they arrest me sixty more times."
Omar explains his position in this film: 'I will not be a soldier in your army'.
Ignoring international standards
Omar Saad claims his 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.
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.
You can send letters of support to: Omar Saad, Military ID 08143090, 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 Omar through New Profile, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Israeli authorities, and Israeli embassies abroad.
An email letter to Israel's Minister of Defence can be sent at /node/23086
A list of Israel's embassies abroad can be found here.
War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of conscientious objector Omar Saad, and all other imprisoned conscientious objectors.