Conscientious objector Omar Saad sentenced to prison for the
fifth time for his refusal to join the Israeli Army.
Omar Saad, 18 years old from Mghar, a village in the Galil, arrived, Sunday 2.3.2014, to the Induction Base in Tal Hashomer where he declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army. Omar was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment for his refusal, in the military prison No. 6 near Atlit.
We also want to inform you that it has come to our attention that civilian lawyers, including lawyers from New Profile, are no longer allowed to visit Omar and other objectors, during his incarcerations in military prisons. The army claims that civilian lawyers are not certified to enter military prisons. We have appealed to Adalah (www.adalah.org/eng) to help us protest the issue.
Omar is a young guy belonging to the Palestinian Arab Druze community. This community, in contrast to Arab society in large, was the target of a decision by Prime Minister Ben Gurion in 1956 that forced them to serve in the Israeli army. following this decision, mobilization orders were sent to all Druze citizens in deployment age. That decision was faced with serious resistance from the Druze community for many reasons. The main reasons were: refusing to fight against their own people and demanding to be treated just like the rest of the Palestinian Arab society in Israel. (* To read more on this issue follow the reference below).
After being sentenced for the fifth time, Omar issued a public statement, as follows:
"I, the undersigned Omar Zaher Aldeen Saad , conceded myself to the Israeli Army authorities two months ago, determined to my rejection to do the Israeli military service.
I have been ruled 3 times in prison, and each time for 20 days, and today was sentenced for the fifth time and in retaliation decision for another 20 days.
Since one year and a half, I declared my refusal to conscription law imposed on the people of the Druze community, and I refuse to serve in the Israeli army, through a letter sent to Israel's Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, and until today I have not received any reply.
I declare it again and loudly: I am Omar Saad Zaher Aldeen I refuse to serve in the Israeli military army and I demand the respect for my faith and not to be obliged to do things that contradict with my conscience and principles.
I want my freedom.
Omar Zaher Aldeen Saad"
In his refusal decleration from 26/10/2012, Omar Saad wrote:
"I refuse that because I am pacifist, and I hate any kind of violence, and I believe that the army institute is the top of physical and psychological violence, and since I received your order for making the checking procedures my life changed completely. I became very nervous and my thoughts were dispersed. I remembered thousands of hard images, and I could not imagine myself wearing the military uniform andparticipating in suppressing my Palestinian people, and fighting my Arab brothers. I reject enlisting to the Israeli army or to any other army, because of national and moral reasons. I hate oppression, and I reject occupation."
Regardin the issue you can also watch a video by the Arab Druze group against military servise.
1. Sending Letters of Support
2. Letters to Authorities
preferably by fax
Feel free to modify this letter or write your own
The imprisonment of conscientious objectors such as Saad is a violation of international law, of basic human rights and of plain morals. The repeater imprisonment of conscientious objectors is an especially grave offence, as it means sentencing a person more than once for the same offence, and has been judged by th UN working Group on Arbitrary Detention to constitute a clear case arbitrary detention.
I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of Omar Saad, without threat of further imprisonment in the future, and urge you and the system you are heading to respect the dignity and person of conscientious objectors, indeed of all persons, in the future.
Writing op-ed pieces and letters to editors of media in Israel and other countries could also be quite useful in indirectly but powerfully pressuring the military authorities to let go of the objectors and in bringing their plight and their cause to public attention.
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We will continue updating on further developments.
Thank you for your support,