Honenu to Chief Rabbis: Help Amiram celebrate Shavuot

Since the July 2015 arson attack on the Dawabshe family’s house in Kfar Duma, Honenu has assisted many Jews accused of involvement with the crime. For a selection of posts describing Honenu Attorneys’ representation of Amiram Ben Uliel, click here, and for a selection of posts about other defendants and GSS interrogees, click here. To familiarize our readers with the case, Honenu has gathered – click here – various articles and short videos on the subject.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 15:23 Honenu director Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad wrote a letter to the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi David Lau and Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the Rishon L’Tzion, asking them to act for the release of Amiram Ben Uliel from isolation to celebrate the Shavuot holiday in the company of other prisoners in the wing dedicated to orthodox prisoners (the Torani wing) in Ayalon Prison.

Meidad wrote in his letter, “I turn to you again, honored Rabbis, on behalf of Amiram Ben Uliel, a young married yeshiva student and the father of a daughter, who has been imprisoned for seven and a half years under extremely harsh conditions, in the State of Israel. He is being held in a small cell with no human contact, not with visitors from outside and not even with other prisoners. In honor of the holiday marking the giving of the Torah, which is fast approaching, I ask you to do everything within your power to ensure that during the holiday, Amiram will be in the company of other prisoners with whom he will be able to celebrate the holiday in a Jewish atmosphere according to the Torah, as much as is possible.”

Meidad noted that after a similar campaign, Ben Uliel was allowed to take part in a Passover Seder with other prisoners in the Torani wing of Ayalon Prison: “Recently, Amiram participated in a Passover Seder in the company of other prisoners for the first time in seven years thanks to pressure from the public, openly and behind the scenes. It is quite possible that you, honored Rabbis, also acted on Ben Uliel’s behalf. As an aside, I will add that Amiram was convicted in court only on the basis of a confession extracted by torture. There is no corroborating evidence. The harsh conditions he is being held under without any justification are an insult to injury. Effectively, the torture he underwent under interrogation continues to this day.”

Several days ago, a campaign was launched calling on the Prison Service to allow Ben Uliel to celebrate the Shavuot holiday with other prisoners in the Torani wing. This effort comes after a similar campaign organized by Justice for Amiram! activists before Passover calling on the public to hold their Passover Seder opposite Eshel Prison. Thanks to that campaign, the Prison Service allowed Ben Uliel to leave his cell and participate in a Passover Seder with other prisoners in the Torani wing of in Ayalon Prison.

Ben Uliel is being held under extremely harsh conditions in Eshel Prison in southern Israel. He is in a high-security wing, in isolation, without any contact with other prisoners. He is allowed to leave his cell for only two hours a day and stay in a closed yard, alone. His family is allowed to visit him once every two weeks, for half an hour, separated by a glass partition. He is also forbidden to enter the prison synagogue to worship with a minyan, and he is allowed to keep only five holy books in his cell.

Recently, after seven years without phone privileges, Ben Uliel was granted phone calls to his family. The decision is in light of the policy of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who stated that it is intolerable that Arab terrorists enjoy significantly more lenient conditions than those of Jewish prisoners classified ‘security prisoners’ and in some cases more lenient conditions than those of ordinary criminals. Consequently, the security authorities decided as a first step to allow Ben Uliel phone calls to several people, including his wife and daughter.

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