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Israeli conscientious objector released from military prison after 160 days

Tair Kaminer is released from Prison 6, where she served multiple sentences for refusing to serve in the Israeli army.

Photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is seen with family and supporters as she is released from Prison 6 after nearly 160 days. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is seen with family and supporters as she is released from Prison 6 after nearly 160 days. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israel’s longest-serving conscientious objector Tair Kaminer was officially released from prison Monday night, after serving approximately 160 days for her refusal to join the Israeli army. She is the longest-serving female conscientious objector in Israeli history.

Late last week a military committee found that Kaminer, 19, was not fit for military service due to her “poor and severe behavior” — namely the fact that she refused to serve in the army due to her opposition to its policies in the occupied territories.

The decision to release Kaminer comes a week after she stood before the IDF’s conscientious objectors committee, where she laid out her case for exemption. The committee has historically decided to not exempt female conscientious objectors such as Kaminer, who declare their refusal to enlist in the army due to their explicit opposition to the occupation (as opposed to pacifism, for example).

Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is seen with family and supporters as she is released from Prison 6 after nearly 160 days. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is seen with family and supporters as she is released from Prison 6 after nearly 160 days. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Kaminer spoke to +972 outside Prison 6 upon her release: “The fact that I knew that I was part of a larger struggle against the the oppression of the Palestinian people — the fact that I was part of a larger group of people who are working for peace — that kept me going while in prison. It’s a great feeling to put that experience behind me.”

Omri Brenes, another female conscientious objector, is also serving time in military prison for refusing to enlist due to her opposition to the occupation. She is currently waiting for a response from the conscientious objectors committee on her case. Meanwhile, Kai Hen, a conscientious objector who spent 30 days in prison, was released from prison earlier this week.

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