Ben Uliel not allowed contact with family

Thursday, March 19, 2020, 9:51 Due to the outbreak of the Corona virus, the Prison Service has issued an order prohibiting visits, which affects many prisoners. There are three Jewish prisoners, who are classified as security prisoners, for whom the order is more damaging, because they are being held in an isolation wing and are forbidden to make telephone calls. The cessation of visits completely prevents the prisoners from contacting their families. These are the most severe prison conditions in Israel.
Out of the three, Amiram Ben Uliel who is a suspect in the Kfar Duma arson case, is under the most stringent conditions. Ben Uliel, a married father of one daughter, has been imprisoned in solitary confinement for several years. The only contact with his family has been a one-hour visit once a week. The other two prisoners are being held in a cell together and had been allowed a visit from their families once every two weeks. In light of the conditions, Honenu Attorney Sima Kochav filed an urgent petition on behalf of Ben Uliel with the Be’er Sheva District Court.
In the petition Kochav mentioned that for two weeks Ben Uliel has not had visitors due to the restrictions set by the Prison Service in light of the Corona outbreak. She stated that the conditions are unbearable and that she had submitted a request for an exception, which was not granted. Additionally, a request was submitted to allow him telephone calls, which was also not granted. This leaves Ben Uliel, whose only contact with his family had been a 30-minute visit once a week, completely cut off from them.
Kochav stated that the decision is unjust and that the Prison Service should take a less drastic measure, but they have not done so. The petition is designed to assist Ben Uliel in realizing his right to contact with his family, even though a phone call is less desirable than a meeting.
Moreover, wrote Kochav, there is no danger in allowing Ben Uliel phone calls, and even though they are inferior to a family visit, they are better than nothing. Additionally there is the harm to Ben Uliel’s family members, especially his daughter, who have been very hurt by the sudden complete separation that has been forced on them.
On March 1, a deliberation was held at the Central District Court in Lod at which the two sides, the Attorney General’s office and Amiram Ben Uliel’s attorneys, presented their opinions and summarized their claims. The Honenu Attorneys representing Ben Uliel pointed out many contradictions in the evidence presented by the police.
Honenu: “The Prison Service must provide a solution. At this sensitive time they must not completely separate a man from his family. We hope that the relevant authorities come to their senses and at least allow Ben Uliel and the other two prisoners daily telephone contact with their families.”

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