Murder attempt on gay human rights lawyer in Israel prison
They tried to kill me because I am gay
The statement made by Attorney Zvi Zer in court today, after an attempt was made on his life.
But is there such a thing as coincidence? Over the past 10 days Ccf Israel (Coalition for Children & Families) have sent daily reports on the condition of their founder Zer.
Only yesterday, a request was made to have him moved at least to better conditions: -
Article 9 has been broken for our current human rights defender. He has a hearing on 18th July with judge Heiman. We are seriously now concerned for his life. 5 months illegal detention and no end in sight.
Are you able to inform me whether any urgent action is considered? As a civil society we are depending upon you to protect our human rights defender and founder.
Presumption of innocence and an alternative to the inhumane condition of 2 Sq.m is now urgent.
I don't want our next presentation to honour Zvi Zer's life.
Within hours of receving this letter in Geneva, we learned that Zer was moved to Rimonim prison in Netanya. By comparative standards, this was an upgrade. Although a high security facility, the space is 10sq.m per inmate, with an open compound and better facilities. Yet the same day an attempt was made on his life.
Today in yet another hearing for bail, which has been continuing weekly since April, Zer announced that they had tried to kill him in Ramle prison - 'because he is gay'. The same day, a fear was expressed for his life to the UN.
This is a remarkable turn of events. Whilst Zer has been openly gay, he has never said such things in court. Also, when his family were expressing concern, he did not want his being gay to be a reason for any special privileges.
Yet, today, he announced this in court, but the Judge refused to add the statement to the protocol. Nothing unusual in ommission of facts in Israel courts.
After spending 5 months in the same prison illegally detained, all the drama has occurred in a short space of time. What is certain is that Zer was moved to a better facility.
One has to ask the question - would a potential killer announce his connections and reasons to murder? It would seem unlikely that an opportunity to harm a prisoner would be so well presented and clear. Zer has helped many in the gay community both in the USA and Israel to preserve their rights. The result is merely a shrug of the shoulders from the arresting judge.
Despite this, the request for house arrest was denied again today, which clearly shows the infamous Judge Abraham Heiman was not moved by the risk to a professional lawyer's life, nor that he is at risk due to his sexuality.
How inhumane can things get in this scandalous case of bloggers being accused, charged and imprisoned for telling the truth - albeit in a saucy way - about public officials and their crimes?
Dozens of public officials are currently being investigated in Israel, yet free to move around. Those who exposed them face an attempted murder?