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Israel and the Occupied Territories: Further information: prisoner of conscience: Abie Nathan

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 15/048/1991

NOTE TO COORDINATORS: A copy of the full statement received from the Israeli
Ministry of Justice is available (2 pages) and can be sent to you by fax if
you would like a copy. It is a letter dated June 18 1991 and the reference
is File No. 164.1 - 635(2). You may have had copies from members of your
networks.
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 15/48/91
Distr: UA/SC
11 October 1991
Further information on UA 170/91 (MDE 15/29/92, 17 May 1991) and follow-up
MDE 15/33/91 (11 June 1991) - Prisoner of Conscience
ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES:Abie Nathan
Abie Nathan, a well-known Israeli peace campaigner, entered Ramle prison on
10 October 1991 to begin an 18-month sentence. He had been convicted on
12 September 1991 and sentenced on 6 October 1991 for breaking a 1986 law
forbidding unauthorized contacts between Israeli citizens and groups designated
as "terrorist" by the Israeli authorities. He was charged with having met
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat in Tunis on
10 and 16 March 1990. He has decided not to appeal against his conviction
and sentence.
"It's a sad day for democracy, for human rights, and for peace," Abie
Nathan reportedly said after he was sentenced. He stated that he was convinced
that the Israeli leaders would eventually have to negotiate with the PLO and
apparently pledged to renew his contacts with the PLO immediately upon his
release from prison.
Abie Nathan was previously sentenced under the same law on 3 October
1989 to 18 months' imprisonment, 12 months of which were suspended, for having
met Chairman Arafat and other senior PLO leaders in Tunis and Strasbourg in
September 1988. He was released on 10 February 1990 after his sentence was
reduced by one third for good behaviour. Amnesty International called at that
time for his release.
Amnesty International believes that Abie Nathan is once again a prisoner
of conscience, held solely on account of his non-violent political beliefs
and peace activities in violation of his rights to freedom of expression and
peaceful association. The Israeli Government, in a statement dated 18 June
1991, maintains that Abie Nathan was prosecuted "not ... because of his political
views or his expression of them, but as a consequence of his actions". However,
the internationally recognized rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful
association fully encompass peaceful actions such as those carried out by Abie
Nathan. In May and June 1991 Amnesty International appealed for the charges
against Abie Nathan to be dropped. It is now calling for his immediate and
unconditional release.
Amnesty International remains concerned that the law under which Abie
Nathan has been convicted and sentenced may lead to further people being
imprisoned solely for having exercized their rights to freedom of expression
and to peaceful association. To the extent that this law permits convictions
for such actions it is inconsistent with internationally recognized human rights
standards. Amnesty International is continuing to urge the Israeli authorities
to review the law to ensure that it does not result in the imprisonment of
prisoners of conscience.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Airmail letters
Urgent appeals are not required at this stage. Thank you for your intervention
at earlier stages of this case. If, however, you wish to write again on this
case, please feel free to do so. You should:
- call for his immediate and unconditional release
- urge the authorities to review this law to ensure that it does not
result in the imprisonment of prisoners of conscience.
LETTERS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO:
Mr Chaim Herzog Dear Mr President
President of the State of Israel
Office of the President
Beit Hanasi
3 Hakeset Street
Jerusalem 92188, Israel
Mr Dan Meridor Dear Minister
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Mr Yitzhak Shamir Dear Mr Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
3 Kaplan Street
Hakirya
Jerusalem 91919, Israel
Ronni Milo Dear Minister
Minister of Police
Ministry of Police
Kiryat Hamemshala
P O Box 2001
Jerusalem 91029, Israel
COPIES TO:
Judge Yosef Harish
Attorney General
c/o Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street
PO Box 1087
Jerusalem 91010, Israel
and to diplomatic representatives of Israel in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

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