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(en) Israel, Refusnics harassment increase - Yoni Ben Artzi and Uri Ya'acobi made into an example for a new policy.

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 9 Dec 2002 02:10:49 -0500 (EST)


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Yoni Ben Artzi and Uri Ya'acobi from the high 
school graduates refusnics who both already 
served five consecutive prison terms for refusing 
to serve in the army, were today imprisoned for 
the sixth time.

Ben Artzi got 35 days in Military Prison-4.
Uri Yaacobi received "only" 28 days. At the end 
of this period Ben Artzi will come close to half a 
year in prison with its short nights and its long 
days of forced labor.

The struggle for the release of these two - even 
officially adopted by Amnesty International 
(http:web.amnesty.org/web/web.nsf/pages/IOT_Conscientious_Objectors) 

The two re-jailed today have both been behind 
bars for more than 100 days already  (Ben-Artzi 
126, and Ya'acobi 106). The fact that there is 
no sign of allowing them to see the army's 
"Incompatibility Commission" (the only way out 
of the vicious circle) is proof that a policy of 
years has been changed. 

There was for years an unwritten rule that such repeated 
imprisonments of COs would never exceed 90 to 100 days. 

In the past, refusnics who choose to go to jail instead of
receiving "incompatibility" exemption were given the option
or even forced to get "incompatibility" release from the 
the army after less than 90 to 100 days in jail.

There can be no more doubt: the army embarked on a new 
policy of harsh treatment of refusers. 

The new policy of "breaking the conscientious objectors" 
is meant to crash the increasing tendency of refusing
service as a political act.

The steep rise in the number of pacifist and political 
refusers is only the tip of the iceberg of military service
evading. 

According to military correspondents the number of 
soldiers who "vote with their feet" by just 
not coming when they are called up seems to have 
risen even more dramatically.

Yoni Ben Artzi end Uri Ya'acobi are the first to 
suffer from this new policy; several other young 
refusnics are right now in prison for not yet as 
many days (Yoni Yechezkel, Dror Boimel, Haggai 
Matar - to mention some).

At least four others are due to enter this week. 
Among them is Matan Kaminer - third generation of
of anti Zionist activists, whose letter circulates 
these days on the net.

The five of them will be accompanied by a crowd 
of future refusers -  Monday, Dec. 2st at 7.30 up to the 
gates of the Tel-Hashomer recruitment center.


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