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  • Uri DeYoung

Ben Uliel still held under severe conditions


Ben Uliel at his March 7 hearing; Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Thursday, March 31, 2022, 9:18 Amiram Ben Uliel filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on his conviction, and they are expected to hand down a decision soon. Currently, Ben Uliel is the most heavily guarded prisoner in the Prison Service. He is in an isolated cell, in a high security wing, and allowed to leave his cell for only two hours a day, and even then he is not allowed contact with other prisoners. He is forbidden to phone either his family or his attorney. He is allowed to receive a 45-minute closed visit, behind a partition, once every two weeks. The visits are limited to first-degree family members, among them his wife, Orian, and his daughter, Malchut. No physical contact is permitted with his visitors. He cannot hug his daughter or play with her. Requests from his family for open visits have been rejected time after time.

Recently, the Prison Service tightened the restrictions of the limited number of books Ben Uliel is allowed to keep in his cell, and he is not allowed to visit the prison library or other facilities in the prison. He is prevented from praying in a minyan, and allowed to hear a Torah-reading only once a year, on the Shabbat before Purim, Shabbat Zachor, due to the Torah-obligation of hearing parshat zachor read.

His wife said that on Purim he received a Megillat Esther, but he was not allowed a reading with a minyan, and he could not fulfill any of the other commandments of the day. She also said that recently, the Prison Service has allowed him to meet with another prisoner once a week to learn for one hour. This privilege was granted after Ben Uliel and his family turned to the court, who ordered the Prison Service to allow the meeting.

Orian Ben Uliel described the great difficulty of the isolation: "He has been alone for years, separated from the other prisoners, without phone calls – completely cut off. I hope that Amiram will return home and that this string of abuses will be over."

Honenu is assisting Amiram Ben Uliel with receiving his rights from the Prison Service and stated that, "Amiram Ben Uliel was brutally tortured by the General Security Service. Unfortunately, the torture continues today, with extremely severe prison conditions that can be called the most severe in Israel. Unfortunately, the Prison Service has chosen to violate the rights of Amiram to the greatest extent possible by violating the most basic prisoners' rights and discriminating against him more than against any other prisoner in the Prison Service. Heads of crime families, arch-terrorists, and the most dangerous prisoners – all of them receive better and more lenient conditions than Amiram. This situation harms not only Amiram, but also Orian, his wife, and his little daughter, Malchut. It appears that someone decided to harass Ben Uliel in the most unusual way. We will do everything we can to put an end to this disproportionate violation of his rights."

On March 7, a hearing was held at the Supreme Court on an appeal to release Amiram Ben Uliel. At the hearing, Attorney Avigdor Feldman and Attorney Yehoshua Reznik, Ben Uliel's attorneys, claimed that his confessions were extracted under torture, illegally, and therefore they are inadmissible in court.

As he left the hearing, Attorney Feldman said, "The General Security Service chose to apply severe physical means on the appellant, following which he supposedly made a confession. … The Supreme Court will have to ask itself whether we are about to be counted among the states that allow torture of interrogatees, or if we are a civilized country, and we understand that obtaining a confession is not the be-all and end-all."

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, see here. To familiarize our readers with the case, Honenu has gathered – see here – various articles and short videos on the subject.


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