Is the Prison Service being vindictive?
See update here. Monday, January 16, 2017, 23:30 Following the refusal of the Prison Service to allow David Or-Shahar, a Bat Ayin resident who will complete his term in several weeks, furlough in order to attend his first-born son’s brit milah ceremony, he filed an urgent petition with the Lod Central District Court. On Sunday, January 15, the court ordered the Prison Service to grant the prisoner an eight-hour furlough for the purpose of attending the ceremony. Or-Shahar and his family rented a hall, invited guests, and planned the ceremony, which is set for Tuesday, January 17. On the evening of Monday, January 16, a matter of hours before the scheduled furlough, to the shock of the prisoner and his family, the Prison Service informed him that only 10 family members will be permitted to attend the ceremony. Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing the prisoner, sent an urgent letter to
Page 2 of Keidar’s letter
the Ma’asiyahu Prison Commander in which he demanded that at least all of the prisoner’s close relatives be allowed to attend the brit milah ceremony. “To our shock, at approximately 19:00, on the eve of the brit milah, the registration officer informed the prisoner that he must submit the names of only 10 participants who will be permitted to attend the ceremony. The ramifications of this demand are that close family members of the prisoner will not be able to attend the brit milah. This is a heavy-handed demand which greatly hurts the prisoner and from which emanates the scent of vindictiveness following the court’s decision,” wrote Keidar. “In light of this, we demand your immediate intervention to at least authorize the attached list [of attendees]. We stress that they are all close relatives – parents, grandfathers, grandmothers, and siblings of the prisoner and of his wife. I will note that the prisoner is expected to be released in approximately three weeks. He is an exemplary prisoner, disciplined, who fulfills his requirements, and therefore [the justification for] your demand is completely unclear,” added Keidar. Friends of the prisoner are furious and say that the Prison Service is taking revenge on him because the court ruled against their opinion. “Informing him 12 hours before he intends to leave for the brit milah that his furlough is conditioned on choosing only 10 members of his family to attend the ceremony is abuse. He needs now, on the eve of the brit, to decide which grandfather to leave out? Which brother?? It is unfortunate that the Prison Service has not accepted the court’s verdict.”