Israel: Conscientious objector Hallel Rabin imprisoned 4th time
(19.11.2020) Israeli conscientious objector Hallel Rabin, 19, was imprisoned for her refusal to serve in the army. On 19th November, Rabin was sentenced to 10 more days in military prison. This is Rabin’s fourth imprisonment. She has already spent 40 days behind bars in three terms.
Hallel was first imprisoned in August after appearing before the military’s Conscience Committee to appeal for a conscience-based exemption. On Wednesday morning, a hearing before the conscience committee was held, after Hallel’s legal team appealed it’s previous decision. But the results have yet to be received. While Hallel remains in prison, activists and friends from the Mesarvot Refusers Movement, held demonstrations calling for her release. On October 31th, during her first Saturday in prison, dozens gathered next to the remote prison camp she’s held at. Activists shouted and chanted support messages that were heard from inside the jail itself - The military prison’s administration dubbed the protest "a security threat" and threatened to move Hallel to a different compound for no apparent reason. But the activists didn’t back down, and through media and legal pressure were able to hold their ground and protest her incarceration yards away from the prison itself. Support demonstrations were also held in Athens, Greece, by local members of Amnesty International.
Prior to her trial and imprisonment Hallel stated: "My connection to the outside world is only through phone calls with my parents and meetings with my lawyer. I was moved and excited by the enormous wave of international solidarity I received - If I could, I would thank each one of you personally. But the Israeli military forbids any direct contact with the media, diplomats or other supporters, trying to isolate me. I hope to receive my exemption through the conscience committee, but if that won’t happen, I’m willing to stay in jail for as long as it takes until justice is done."
In her refusal statement, Rabin says: "I was raised on the values of freedom, compassion and love. Fighting to keep another nation enslaved contradicts these values. For too long, the good people of Israel have agreed to participate in the atrocities committed by the occupation. While I know my refusal is small and personal, I wish to be the change I want to see in the world, and to show that another way is possible."
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Hallel Rabin is accompanied by Mesarvot and supported by Refusal Solidarity Network. Follow Mesarvot on social media (click here) and subscribe to their updates for future solidarity actions (click here).
Mesarvot: eMail, November 19, 2020