VL has managed to be blessed enough to work with an amazing freelance investigative journalist, writer and human rights advocate, who has lived in and had (too much) experience with the government of Israel. Her name is Marianne Azizi, and besides calling her my HERO, I also like to call her our very own Israeli correspondent investigative journalist with boots on the ground. This is pretty HUGE!
Last week, Marianne was in Israel visiting a member of her team, who is also a Human Rights Advocate and a lawyer. I want to start by relaying from Marianne’s blog, the conditions in which Zvi is being kept, the sheer desperation of the situation and the otrocities the Israeli government are creating and perpetuating… and I want to end with a CALL TO ACTION for us to save Zvi’s life. He believes he will not make it out of this alive.
The prison Zvi is currently being held in is called HaSharon Prison.
It’s been 5 months since his arrest in February. He has been charged with protecting bloggers, and it has been alleged he is part of the Cyber Terror Gang. Over a dozen bloggers were arrested, for speaking out against the Israeli government, with 3 still in prison facing trial in September. The REASON trial is in September, is because Judge Abraham Heiman has decided he is taking a Holiday because it is too hot there in Israel – the people accused (NOT convicted, mind you) of crimes can just sit in the un-air conditioned prison cells until he returns – refreshed and relaxed…
Meanwhile, Zvi is in a cell with murderers, including a man who murdered a 9-year old child… Zvi, on the other hand, gives FREE legal services to SAVE children. They are locked in 21 hours a day with no air-conditioning, in sweltering Israeli heat, making sleep next to impossible.
He gets 3 – one hour breaks, in which he is allowed out of his cell only to walk on the open rooftop, where, if possible, the heat is even MORE unbearable, since there is nothing to block the direct sunlight.
He has severe bug bites that look to be infected and the only possible relief is the “goody bucket” carried by the prison guards that contain a variety of pills that are handed out regularly. Zvi refuses to take the pills because he doesn’t even know what they are.
According to Marianne’s blog,
“We learn that this neverending incarceration is based on his level of dangerousness. The State Prosecution will not consider his bail or house arrest on the basis he is allegedly more dangerous to the public than those he is now forced to share a cell with.
It appears that the bloggers who are in prison awaiting trial, all of them are accused and charged with insulting public officials. Zvi is now reading his accusations that he didn’t take blogs down and that makes him an accessory to the heinous crimes…of offending judges and social workers.”
Judge Abraham Heiman has ignored the fact that this detainee is a professional family and children’s lawyer; a fighter for human rights in Israel, and works mainly pro bono to help those in need. Judge Heiman has ignored the fact that because Zvi is Gay, his life is allegedly in danger.
They treat these prisoners, who are supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty” like animals- tying them down and transporting them in CAGES!
I have sent emails on Zvi’s behalf. I urge you to please do the same. The more we let the Israeli government understand that others KNOW what is going on and that we are OUTRAGED, the more will change. According to Marianne, the only thing that does make an impact is when other Western countries speak out, letting the Israeli government know that we know the truth.
If you are so compelled, please send emails to the following contacts involving this case:
Office of the Minister of Justice: Sar@justice.gov.il
Benjamin Netanyahu: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the letter that I sent. Feel free to copy and paste:
We demand the release from 5 months ILLEGAL detention of Jewish Israeli Human Rights Lawyer Zvi Zer! You arrested him and charged him with helping two bloggers who were exposing the wrongdoings of judges and social workers. Why do you think judges and social workers have more say and should be allowed more HUMAN RIGHTS than any other human in Israel?
You have put him at risk for his LIFE in the conditions he has been kept. You have locked him in solitary confinement, denying him his family visit or phone calls. After solitary confinement you have now locked him up 21 hours a day with convicted murderers. You have humiliated him and emotionally, mentally and physically tortured him.
Your Judge Abraham Heiman of the Tel Aviv District Court has refused to honour domestic law, Supreme Court principles, International Law and UN treaties on fair treatment. Your Judge refuses to consider bail or house arrest. You denied the human rights lawyer his evidence, and made him PAY to get it! You have denied him dignity and innocence before guilt.
You have denied his current pro-bono clients any representation who are left in despair and losing their hearings, all because of these OUTRAGEOUS and ILLEGAL actions – many of whom are foreign nationals trapped in Israel and starving! Many of whom are American! You have denied him to help American children who need his support in juvenile and welfare cases. You are essentially solely responsible for ALL of these children and other humans who are losing their rights, as you take Zvi’s rights!
This is an OUTRAGE and the American people are OUTRAGED!
We demand that your Judge Heiman give him bail, and not commit to his word that he will decide in September after his own summer holiday.
Innocence before guilt is a democratic way. This is a blight on Israel’s reputation of an honest judiciary and democracy. Release Zvi Zer to the safety of his family and allow him access to his evidence in order to defend himself. This is an outrageous abuse of human rights, and a SHOCK to the American people.
I assure you, more and more Americans will know of the HEINOUS acts against the man who is very face of HUMANITY.
I AM A VOICE FOR THE OUTRAGED AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO WANT TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT IN ISRAEL