Honenu to Chief Rabbis: Help Ben Uliel pray with a minyan

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 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.

Thursday, September 22, 2022, 16:19 Honenu director Shmuel Meidad wrote a letter to the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Rabbi David Lau and the Rishon LeTzion Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, requesting that they act on behalf of Amiram Ben Uliel so that he will be able to fulfill his religious requirements on the High Holidays. Ben Uliel is imprisoned in Eshel Prison in Be’er Sheva

The letter opens with a general statement about the condition of Jewish nationalist prisoners. “Since I founded Honenu over 20 years ago, I have merited to stand at its head and to assist, among many others, Jewish nationalist prisoners who are serving stiff prison sentences. Frequently, one’s heart is broken by the rigid and humiliating treatment by the Prison Service of these prisoners in comparison to other prisoners, and it is doubly conspicuous in light of the preferential prison conditions that the worst of our enemies receive.”

With regard to Ben Uliel, Meidad wrote, “The most unfortunate case Honenu is handling is that of Amiram Ben Uliel. Besides his conviction that is based on a confession that was extracted from him by torture and which numerous criminal experts of various types opposed, he is held under the most severe prison conditions in existence in the State of Israel today. Amiram sits alone in a small cell for over 20 hours a day. He is never allowed to come into contact with another prisoner.”

Therefore, Meidad is asking for the assistance of the Chief Rabbis of Israel to act on Ben Uliel’s behalf with the Prison Service so that he will pray with a minyan on the High Holidays, according to Jewish law. “I believe that Your Honors, who have the religious needs of the Jewish People before them, will be willing to assist in any way appropriate to allow what Amiram unquestionably requires. The minimum necessary now is to allow Amiram to pray on the High Holidays according to Jewish law and Jewish tradition,” concluded Meidad.

Approximately two weeks ago, Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing Ben Uliel, wrote a letter to Eshel Prison asking the Prison Service to allow him to pray in a minyan, hear Torah readings, receive a shofar, and all that is required for his religious needs for the High Holidays, due to their sanctity and importance. Keidar noted in his letter that the religious needs and rights of prisoners are statutory and therefore they must be granted to Ben Uliel. As of now, a reply has not been received from the Prison Service.

Amiram Ben Uliel is being held under extremely harsh prison 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, alone, to an empty, closed-in prison yard. Contrary to other prisoners, he is prohibited from phoning either his family or his attorneys. His family is allowed to visit him once every two weeks for approximately half an hour, separated by a glass partition. Additionally, he is not allowed to go to the prison synagogue to pray with a minyan, and he is allowed to keep only five holy books in his cell.

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