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Disappearing Prisoners: Official Israeli Policy

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H3 2/15/13

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He married an Israeli woman. He had two children. Before he died, he was negotiating a plea bargain. He expressed concern about spending years in prison. He denied charges against him.

"Israel can't just 'disappear' people," said Haaretz . "Forced disappearance," reflects the worst of "dark, dictatorial regimes." Israel replicates the worst of them. 

"Since the '50s, several Israelis suspected of espionage and other security breaches have been caught and locked up for many years, after being convicted in secret trials, attended by a handful of people who were in on the affair." 

"Most of these prisoners were intelligence and security people who had strayed, and exposing their acts would have put their operators in an embarrassing light."

Zygier's the latest. Israeli authorities justify forced disappearances "as a ploy." Haaretz they do so "to mislead the enemy and protect security secrets and the lives of active agents."

Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in prison. Israel incarcerated him for exposing its nuclear weapons program. At least 11 were in solitary confinement. 

He endured cruel and barbaric treatment. He's still denied all rights. He's trapped and can't leave Israel. He's no traitor or spy. He broke no laws. He did the right thing. He wanted the world to know what was happening. 

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Protecting national security is one thing. Doing so doesn't justify lawlessness. Everyone's entitled to habeas rights and due process. Totalitarian methods deny them. Israel's dark side reflects them.

A Final Comment

On February 13, ACRI petitioned Israel's Attorney General Shai Nitzan. It requested more information on Zygier's death. 

Chief legal counsel Dan Yakir said there's " considerable public interest in information about the investigation into the cause of death of the prisoner, and in answers to the following questions: 

Was this indeed a suicide? Was there negligence in the supervision of the detainee? Has any official body taken responsibility? What steps have been taken to prevent the recurrence of similar events in the future?"

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He raised questions about Israel's gag order. Partial lifting falls short. He expressed concern about "a man held in detention under heavy secrecy, and nothing was published about the reason for his arrest or the circumstances surrounding his death."

Everyone has a right to know. Vital questions need answering. Accountability is fundamental. Transparency isn't Israel's long suit. Nor is respecting the law's letter and spirit. Rogue terror states operate that way.

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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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