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Disappearing Prisoners: Official Israeli Policy

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After two years of coverup, the gag order on Zygier was "partially lifted."

Israel's Justice Ministry left him unnamed. For the first time, it said "a man held in maximum security prison died while in Israel's custody, and that the death was ruled a suicide."

"For security reasons, the prisoner was held under a pseudonym." 

"The prisoner in question was found dead in his cell two years ago."

In accordance with Israel's Inquest of Death Law, an inquiry into his death was ordered. A writ followed. It ordered information about him "held behind closed doors. The order still stands."

"National security prevents the release of any other details in this case."

"These aspects of national security have been reviewed by the Central District Court, which decided to impose a comprehensive gag order on the case."

"The order was given at the request of the defense establishment, and was approved by the Justice Ministry."

All possible measures were taken to keep information about him suppressed. Official records were sealed.

On March 4, 2010, Zygier was secretly indicted. Israel's Central District Court ruled his case "highly classified (top) secret." 

Hearings were held behind closed doors. Minutes on proceedings "were immediately deposited in the court's vault."

Everything about his case remains classified. Nothing was revealed publicly. It's not known if the court ruled on his case or closed it on a technicality.

Zygier's defense attorneys and family members had to sign confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. Doing so prevents them from confirming or denying anything.

Information released excluded what's most important to know. Details didn't compromise state security.

Israel's top civil and human rights lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, last saw him alive. "They asked me to see him, and a day after that he was gone," he said.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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