Crowdfunded Journalism

Israeli Criminal Lawyer steps in to criticise ruthless takedown of activists

Marianne Azizi photo
Marianne AziziIsrael
Israeli Criminal Lawyer steps in to criticise ruthless takedown of activists
Avi Amiram - leading criminal lawyer gives statement on free speech in Israel

Avi Amiram is one of the leading crime lawyers in Israel.  Following a wave of arrests of activists, bloggers, parents and even another lawyer, he stepped in at the request of Ccf (coalition for the children and families) to represent Ariel Formonovski, who was arrested at gunpoint.  There were a total of 10 taken by police in what is described as an 18 month undercover operation to prevent bloggers using sites to name and shame public officials.

Tonight 10th March, national TV will air an article about this, with half of those arrested still in detentioon.  It is expected to be a damning report.

After the release of his client to house arrest, he gave me this statement: -

"This is a classic case where a complete restraint is required by the law enforcement authorites towards such a basic human right as freedom of speech and moreover respecting every civilian while dealing with a legitimate legal battle for fullfilling such a basic right as fatherhood.

Ariel Formanovski paid a heavy price while his freedom was taken away from him for a complete week during trying to fullfill his aforementioned rights, despite using legitimate means to get his rights.

I Hope that the legal system will make a clear distinction for the benefit of those who fight to fullfill their rights. "

Avi Amiram has an illustrious career.  He was bornin Kiryat Gat, served as a paratrooper and graduated fom the Law Faculty of Tel Aviv University.  As part of expertise in criminal law, he worked for a Law firm in New York.

Born in Kiryat Gat, Col. Gen., paratroopers, a graduate of the Law Faculty of Tel Aviv University. As part of expertise in criminal law worked in a law firm in New York.

Has been used for three decades as defense counsel - counsel has extensive experience in representing defendants in the field of criminal justice law from a variety of different offenses. Offenses classified as white collar offenses and financial crimes, such as bribery, money laundering, obtaining by fraud. Offenses classified as serious crimes, such as acts of killing, violations of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance. Military law offenses mainly represented by senior officers (Colonel or higher degrees) .iitzog petition the High Court of Justice.

Mr. Amiram serves as a commentator on various TV channels legal, he writes for the website "Walla" and is a legal commentator for them. He is a guest lecturer to students and legal panels.

For a man to be treated with a brutal arrest for trying to be a father - Mr. Amiram was pleased to step in to represent him.  What is at stake is the difference between an offense of limiting freedom of speech, when the State is limiting the rights of citizens, and subsequently arresting them for trying to fight for them.

Here is his statement in Hebrew:

זהו מקרה קלאסי בו מתבקש איפוק מוחלט של רשויות החוק כלפי זכות כל כך בסיסית כחופש הביטוי ועוד יותר מכך כיבוד כל אזרח בעת ניהול מאבק משפטי לגיטימי למימוש זכויות כה בסיסיות כגון אבהות. אריאל פורמנובסקי שילם מחיר כבד עת נשללה חירותו למשך שבוע ימים במהלך מימוש זכויותיו הנ״ל על אף שנקט אמצעים לגיטימיים למימושן.אני מקווה שמערכת המשפט תעשה אבחנה ברורה לטובת אלה שנאבקים לממש את זכויותיהם.

It is hoped with the help of Mr. Amiram, and other lawyers representing those arrested, the fight for civil and human rights will be debated without criminalisation of  citizens.

As a married man with three children, it is a privilege for one of the human rights defenders to receive help from such a high profile lawyer.

Here is a video from the last illegal arrest in July 2016.  Ironically the majority of those currently imprisoned with no charges were at the court in Jerusalem to free the father.  It appears the civil society seems to be targetted.