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Israel: Conscientious objectors in and out of prison

While women CO Laura Milo (picture left) went to prison on 23 August for her second prison term (see co-alert from 31 August 2004), Daniel Tsal was finally released from the army after 112 days in prison. In an open letter to all supporters he writes:

"I have just been released from the IDF after 112 days in military jail. After approaching the mental health officer I have been released on the grounds of incompatibility for military service.

Your support of my personal struggle and your general support of other conscientious objectors have provided me with a tremendous source of strength during these difficult days.

In these troubling times when conscientious objection has become a taboo and conscientious objectors are perceived by the authorities as mere criminals, your continuing support and encouragement has helped us remember the importance of disobedience and our duty to prefer principles of justice and morality over the blind conformity to military rules.

Thanks to you there are and will be many boys and girls who will take the responsibility of declaring their refusal to serve in the army, the policy of which bluntly opposes any principles of justice and morality.

The struggle continues and the IDF continues to wage a ruthless war against conscientious objection. Your ongoing support is as important and critical as ever.

Thanks for everything,
Daniel Tsal"

Sources: refuseniks_updates, 28 August 2004 (two emails)

Veröffentlicht in CO-Update, September 2004, No. 1