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Israel imprisons 6 human rights defenders

Marianne Azizi photo
Marianne AziziIsrael
Israel imprisons 6 human rights defenders
Crackdown continues on a sad day for free speech in Israel

At the end of a dark day in the History of Israel's 'democracy', 6 people are behind bars, suspected of Cyber crimes - excessive free speech against public figures.

There are threats of more to come.  So here is a background on those who are being held for alleged crimes against the State of Israel.

A mother of two - who lost her children almost a decade ago.  She fought the system; proved herself to be an exemplary mother.  Passed all the psychiatric and fitness tests.  However, the nature of her battle in openly fighting and criticising the system meant that she would never win.  The journey bankrupted her.  She turned to help other mothers, who had been wronged by the System.  Hounded, targetted, harrassed and even imprisoned for exposing a film of a child being beaten by a mother.  She protected the father.   She is a government target.

Her loyal friend, who has provided friendship and emotional support, and her roomate.  A government target by association.

A father of two - his children were abducted from Israel, and taken to a further two countries.  He has evidence of abuse by the mother.  He has involved the Hague.  It is acknowledged the children were kidnapped.  The Israeli courts deemed that he should accept it, and put a No Exit Order upon him, and ordered him to pay child support to the kidnapper, and stop fighting.  The fight has left him broken, but determined.  He set up a website to help parents suffering from child abduction.  A government target.

A father, separated from his children, forced to pay child support (one of highest in the world after Switzerland) of over $500 per child.  False claims made constantly, and forced to see children in contact centres.  Tired, exhausted, and supports the LEGAL protests against the corruption.

A lawyer, who helps fathers and children, human rights lawyer, raided and guilty before being proven innocent.  Locked up and cannot attend all the hearings for his despairing clients, who may automatically lose their own cases for a 'no show' of their lawyer, which is automatic.  So more people damaged.

A second lawyer, raided also, who is currently on holiday, and may expect a surprise at the airport on his return.  Both lawyers help many clients for free, and especially defend protestors and journalists when they are illegally arrested.

These are the alleged criminals of the State of Israel, who proudly publish today they have caught a ring of 'cyber criminals', who it is alleged is a ring which publishes the crimes of judges, police and social workers in a way which may 'insult' them.

All but one are now imprisoned for at least 10 days.  One is under house arrest.  The most outrageous is to imprison a human rights lawyer, denying him the right to practice, and admitting in court that none of them pose any threat to society.  Yet they are locked up as if they were already guilty.

This has rocked the groups on social media.  One of the lawyers informed one of the suspects that this was done to SILENCE dissent by fear.  Police were actually known to be trawling social media groups before the arrests to elicit complaints on one activist.

The messengers may be held, but the message cannot be stopped.

All actions are being taken to contact international human rights groups with SOS and pressure internationally.  The idea of a crackdown, when thousands and thousands of people are finding different ways to communicate, is a false hope.

This may have been a calculated risk by the authorities, one which they may lose.

Imprisoning without trial for ''excessive suspicion of freedom of speech'' is a step too far.

These ordinary men and women had no recourse through the system, all the way to the Supreme Court.  Most of them are now bankrupted, having held senior professions.  Most of them cannot leave Israel, have a bank account, nor a driving licence.  Yet if indeed the authorities believe the people they hold are guilty, they will have to indict another million Israelis in the same condition.

#Freedom of speech in Israel, #No Exit orders in Israel, #crackdown on free speech, #False arrests in Israel, #lawers for human rights in Israel