Seventh Prison Term for Conscientious Objector Omar Saad

- Please distribute widely -

Conscientious objector Omar Saad sentenced to prison for the seventh time for his refusal to join the Israeli Army.

Omar Saad, 18 years old from Mghar, a village in the Galil, arrived, Sunday 13.4.2014, to the Induction Base in Tal Hashomer where he declared his refusal to serve in the Israeli Army. Omar was sentenced to 40 days of imprisonment for his refusal, in the military prison No. 4 near Sarafand (zrifin).

We also want to inform you that it has come to our attention that civilian lawyers, including lawyers from New Profile, were banned from visiting Omar and other objectors, during his incarcerations in military prisons. The army claims that civilian lawyers are not certified to enter military prisons. After we appealed to Adalah and the media exposure, the army authorities has set aside the order, and claimed it to be a "misunderstanding".

Omar Saad 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 seventh time, Omar issued a public statement, as follows:

The Easter gift, The Spring Feast, the Freedom Fest. They talk about Easter holiday as a symbol of freedom and the story of the children of Israel who were saved out from slavery, but still AND these days there are governments who still practise that approach of slaves and who do not know the meaning of freedom.
I, the undersigned Omar Zaher Alden Saad, I declare this statement to the public opinion, I have gave in myself to the Israeli Army and for four months determined to my rejection to the military service.
I was ruled 6 times to prison, and every time for 20 days, and today for the seventh time and in retaliation I was sentenced for 40 days.
Since one year and a half I declared my refusal to the conscription law imposed on the Druze community, and I refuse to serve in the Israeli army, through a letter sent to Israel's Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, and up till today I have not received any reply.
I declare out loud today: I Omar Zaher Alden Saad will not serve in the Israeli military army and I demand respect for my faith and I yearn for my freedom.
Those who sent me to prison today and for 40 days, before you sit with your family to celebrate Easter and to tell the Easter story to your children how they are free now and not slaves any more , look in the mirror, you will see you are still a slave that carry out orders.


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."


You can read the full declaration here.


You can find more news items re Saad's imprisonment and Druze Refuse here and here and here and here.

Regardin the issue you can also watch a video by Orfod-the Arab Palestinian Druze group against military servise and also you can visit the website: www.irefuse.info

 

His prison address is:

Omar Saad

    Military ID 08143090

    Military Prison No. 4

    Military Postal Code 02507, IDF
    Israel
    Fax:++972-3-95752760

Since the prison authorities often block mail from reaching imprisoned objectors, we also recommend you to send them your letters of support and encouragement via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org (hitting “reply all” to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during visits.


Recommended Action

First of all, please circulate this message and the information contained in it as widely as possible, not only through e-mail, but also on websites, social networks, conventional media, by word of mouth, etc.

Other recommendations for action:


1. Sending Letters of Support

Please send Omar letters of support to the prison address above and via e-mail to: messages2prison@newprofile.org


2. Letters to Authorities

It is recommended to send letters of protest on the objectors’ behalf, preferably by fax, to:

Mr. Moshe Ya'alon,

Minister of Defence,
Ministry of Defence,
Hakirya,
Tel-Aviv 61909,
Israel.
E-mail: s...@mod.gov.il or pniot@mod.gov.il
Tel.: ++972-3-6975220
Fax: ++972-3-6962757

Copies of your letters can also be sent to the commander of the military prison at:

Commander of Military Prison No. 4,

    Military Prison No. 4
    Military Postal Code 
 02507, IDF

Israel
Fax:++972-3-95752760

Another useful address for sending copies would be the Military Attorney General:

Denny Efroni,
Chief Military Attorney
Military postal code 9605, IDF
Israel
Fax: ++972-3-569-45-26

It would be especially useful to send your appeals to the Commander of the Induction Base in Tel-HaShomer. It is this officer that ultimately decides whether an objector is to be exempted from military service or sent to another round in prison, and it is the same officer who is ultimately in charge of the military Conscience Committee:

Gil Ben Shaul,
Commander of Induction Base,
Meitav, Tel-HaShomer
Military Postal Code 02718, IDF
Israel.
Fax: ++972-3-737-60-52

For those of you who live outside Israel, it would be very effective to send protests to your local Israeli embassy. You can find the address of your local embassy on the web.

Here is a generic sample letter, which you can use in sending appeals to authorities on the prisoners’ behalf. Feel free to modify this letter or write your own:


Dear Sir/Madam,

It has come to my attention that Omar Saad (military ID 08143090), a conscientious objector to military service, has been imprisoned for the seventh time for his refusal to become part of the Israeli army, and is held in Military Prison no. 4 in Zriffin military base.

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 the 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.

Sincerely,

3. Letters to media in Israel and in other countries

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. 

Here are some contact details for the main media outlets in Israel: 

Israel Hayom:
2 Hashloasha st.
Tel-Aviv 67132
Israel
Fax: +972-
3-7648612


Yedioth Aharonoth:
2 Moses st.
Tel-Aviv
Israel
Fax: +972-3-608-25-46
Ha'aretz (Hebrew):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Israel
Fax: +972-3-681-00-12
Ha'aretz (English edition):
21 Schocken st.
Tel-Aviv, 61001
Israel
Fax: +972-3-512-11-56
e-mail: letters@haaretz.co.il
Israel Hayom:
2 Hashlosha st.
The B1 Building
Tel-Aviv
Israel
e-mail: hayom@israelhayom.co.il
Jerusalem Post:
P.O. Box 81
Jerusalem 91000
Israel
Fax: +972-2-538-95-27
e-mail: news@jpost.co.il or letters@jpost.co.il
Radio (fax numbers):
Kol-Israel  +972-2-531-33-15
and  +972-3-694-47-09

Galei Zahal  +972-3-512-67-20
Television (fax numbers):
Channel 1  +972-2-530-15-36
Channel 2  +972-2-533-98-09
Channel 10  +972-3-733-16-66

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We will continue updating on further developments.

Thank you for your support,

 New Profile