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conscientious objector

  • Israeli conscientious objector ends hunger strike citing abuse

    Prison guards put Udi Segal in isolation and threatened him with trumped up charges, alleges the jailed conscientious objector now serving his fifth term in Israeli military prison. Israeli conscientious objector Udi Segal stopped his hunger strike over the weekend, citing what he described as abuse by guards in the Israeli army's "Prison 6." Segal began his fifth prison term last Thursday when he once again registered his refusal to serve in the Israeli army for reasons of conscience, declaring a hunger strike to protest his continued and repeated imprisonment. Since the start of his latest prison term Segal has…

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  • IDF denied draft refuser letters, access to his lawyer

    'The sergeant told him that he cannot make a call because he is a military prisoner, and that he cannot use the phone because he didn't wear his hat on time,' Ferera's lawyer says. By Daniel Beller Uriel Ferera, the young Orthodox conscientious objector who was sentenced to military jail for refusing to join the Israeli army, says he was made to stand almost completely naked while his guards laughed at him. Furthermore, the guards ridiculed his faith and humiliated him while he prayed. Later, the IDF prevented Ferea from receiving letters, emails and faxes in support of his refusal.…

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  • Druze youth likely headed to prison for conscientious objection

    Omar Sa'ad reports to Israeli army induction base and announces his refusal to enlist. He is expected to be sentenced to prison. Sa'ad has declared his refusal to be 'both nationally and conscientiously motivated.' "I was raised first and foremost as a human being, and as such I feel that I cannot possibly aim an assault weapon at any other human being, be it Arab, Jewish or whomever, and so it has always been clear to me that I will not be able to join the army," says Omar Sa'ad, a young Druze viola player from the village of Maghar. Sa'ad is…

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  • Poverty in the IDF: Thousands jailed for economically motivated desertion

    On Friday, Channel 2 News aired a story of unique importance, offering a glimpse into the world of the financial difficulties faced by Israeli soldiers. A soldier from the notorious Kfir Brigade, which is often accused of brutal treatment of Palestinians, testified that 9 out of 10 soldiers need financial support, and a Knesset report indicated that thousands of soldiers desert  for financial reasons each year. I first met these soldiers when I myself was in prison for refusing the draft, about 10 years ago. One after another my cellmates would talk about poverty in their homes, how their parents…

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  • IDF to release conscientious objector after 177 days in prison

    Conscientious objector Natan Blanc will be exempted from military service and allowed to volunteer for civil service after more than half a year in prison. Shortly after Blanc's family and supporters started a campaign for his release, which included several demonstrations and increased media presence, Blanc was summoned earlier this week to the army's unsuitability committee for the second time. As opposed to the previous interview, this time the committee decided to exempt Blanc from service, and on Thursday morning he was informed by prison staff that his current, 10th incarceration (breaking the record for number of times a conscientious objector has…

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  • WATCH: Activists call to free conscientious objector outside IDF headquarters

    On May 21, 2013, dozens of people held a solidarity demonstration with conscientious objector Natan Blanc, in front of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. Blanc is serving his tenth prison term for refusing to be drafted into the Israeli army. This is an all time record of number of consecutive prison terms for a conscientious objector. For +972's full coverage of Natan Blanc and conscientious objectors, click here.

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  • WATCH: Supporters stage prison vigil for conscientious objector Natan Blanc

    Israeli teenager Natan Blanc was sentenced to a tenth prison term of 28 days for refusing to serve in the Israeli army last week. With the latest sentencing, he has been sent to prison more times than any previous conscientious objector in Israel. Earlier this year, supporters and activists held one of many regular support vigils on a hilltop overlooking the IDF's Prison 6, where he is currently being held.

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  • Egyptian, Israeli activists make joint call to free conscientious objectors

    In what is likely the first statement of its kind, Egyptians and Israelis call upon their governments to exempt conscientious objectors from mandatory military service. A small group of young Egyptians gathered in downtown Cairo for a vigil yesterday, the likes of which have probably never before been seen in any Arab country. The group held signs calling for the release of Israeli draft resister Natan Blanc, who was recently sent to prison for a record-breaking ninth consecutive sentence. According to Israeli movement Yesh Gvul, the gesture was highly appreciated by Blanc's family. The Cairo vigil is part of a new type of cooperation…

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  • Israeli conscientious objector heads to prison for record ninth time

    Israeli conscientious objector Natan Blanc, 19, was sentenced to prison for the ninth time on Thursday, tying the record number of times an Israeli who has refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces has been put on trial. According to Amira Hass' last report on Blanc a few weeks ago in Haaretz: Over the last decade, the IDF largely refrained from repeatedly putting conscientious objectors on trial. Until now the record was nine trials, which took place eight years ago, and the IDF preferred to release them after shorter prison sentences due to their unsuitability (in order to prevent a…

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  • Draft resister sent back to prison: Eight sentences, 130 days

    Natan Blanc is sentenced to prison for the eighth time after he once again refused to be inducted into the IDF. Palestinian prisoner dies of cancer in Israeli custody, prisoners launch hunger strikes. Conscientious objector Natan Blanc was sentenced to an eighth prison term today. After having served 116 days in prison, Blanc received another 14-day sentence this morning when he reported to the induction base and once again refused to be inducted, due to what he defines as the "wave of aggressive militarism" in Israeli society, the occupation of Palestinian territories and the siege and military campaigns on Gaza.…

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  • Young Israeli conscientious objector sentenced to sixth consecutive prison term

    Natan Blanc (19) has been in and out of prison for three months now. On November 19, Blanc informed authorities of his conscientious objection to enlist to the Israeli army due to the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories and the constant militarization of the Israeli society which it entails. Since his initial refusal to be drafted into the IDF, Natan Blanc has been sentenced six times, the last being this Sunday, each to a period of two to three weeks in jail. In accordance with military regulations, Blanc is being sentenced by medium-level officers in short disciplinary proceedings, sent to…

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  • Eric Cantona, FIFA head demand release of Palestinian footballer

    Manchester United's 'King Eric' Cantona and FIFA President Sepp Blatter call upon Israel to release Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak, now on his 91st day of hunger strike. An Israeli conscientious objector in military prison has joined the Palestinian hunger strike in solidarity. [UPDATE: BREAKING: Israel to free hunger striking footballer Mahmoud Sarsak] The world renowned footballer Eric Cantona is calling upon the UEFA to cancel plans for Israel host the 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship due to its violation of human rights, and especially due to the ongoing imprisonment of the Palestinian national team's midfielder, Mahmoud Sarsak, who is today…

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  • Refusenik sentenced to 20 days in prison on his birthday

    Yaniv Mazor was sentenced this morning by his commander to twenty days in prison for refusing to fulfill his reserve service duties. 'This is an army whose main purpose is the maintenance of the occupation regime imposed on millions of people on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip – and I cannot serve in it,' said Mazor, who hopes others will join him. Yaniv Mazor – a resident of Jerusalem, chief sergeant (res.) in the armed corps, and a tour guide in profession – is celebrating his 31st birthday today. Speaking to +972 on his way to jail,…

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