Conscientious objector Yasmin Ricci-Yahav, 18, was imprisoned again for her refusal serve in the army. This is Yasmin's second imprisonment and she will spend 20 more days behind bars. In a statement following the court's verdict, Yasmin wrote: "I hope my refusal will contribute to the struggle to build a future characterized by tolerance and compassion."
Yasmin was first sentenced to 10 days following her declaration of refusal to be enlisted at the military recruitment centre in Tel Aviv. By the end of her current term, she will have spent a total of 30 days in prison.
In her declaration, Yasmin says:
“I do not question Israel’s right to have and use an army in order to defend itself. I do not wish to detract from the respect and admiration owed to those who came before me and did everything in their power to protect a state that offered a home to millions who needed a safe haven. But the Israeli army nowadays does not function only as a defence force, but as a central tool in the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.”
“We have all experienced a childhood marred by war and hatred, and we have all grown up in a world where we have been taught to fear and to distance ourselves from the other side. But I believe there is another way to face the complex reality in which we live. This requires a conversation about alternatives, mutual respect and a desire for change. In addition, I believe that it is the young generation in Israel that is responsible for advancing change. I hope that my refusal will contribute to the struggle to bring about not only a more secure future for Israel, but also a future that inspires pride and is characterised by tolerance and compassion.”
Yasmin is accompanied by Mesarvot – a solidarity network of political conscientious objectors in Israel who refuse to take part in the occupation.