Tair Kaminer was sentenced on Monday, February 29, to 30 more days in Military Prison 600. Kaminer, an Israeli teenager, has spent 45 days behind bars for being a conscientious objector to the Israeli occupation. She is about to start her third term in military prison because of her choice to take a moral stand against Israel’s perpetual occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. Tair began her time in prison in January and has now refused to join the Israeli army before three separate tribunals. In all three cases, Tair was not permitted to have a lawyer or to give testimony. She was simply sentenced and sent to jail.
Join Refuser Solidarity Network in telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to FREE TAIR and all arbitrary detainees! Tair is just 19 years old, but she understands the negative impact that the Israeli military and government’s policies are having on her country’s future. While most teenagers in the world are busy with school and a social life, she chose to sacrifice these things and go to jail for refusing to serve.
For Tair, joining the Israeli military would make her complicit in policies that destroy Palestinian lives and deteriorate life in Israel. She writes: “My refusal comes from my will to make my contribution to my society, and make this a better place, and is part of an ongoing struggle for peace and equality.” Arbitrary detention is illegal under international law. Tair is the latest in a long line of Israelis to refuse service in the Israeli military in response to the government’s policy of settlement expansion, occupation, and denial of rights to the Palestinian people under its control.
Refusers come from all segments of Israel’s society. They are women, LGBTs, Russian, Druze, Ethiopian, from large cities and small towns. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has determined that Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which ensures freedom of thought, conscience and religion, applies to military refusers like Tair.
Even though the ICCPR does not explicitly mention conscientious objectors, countries are in violation of this provision when they jail those who refuse to serve for reasons of political conscience. In 2002, the Committee ruled that Israel violated international law when it jailed six young men repeatedly without giving them access to counsel because they refused, for reasons of conscience, to serve in an army that was perpetrating crimes against innocents. Additionally, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also recognized in a 2001 report that jailing conscientious objectors runs contrary to Article 18
To sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/rachel-refusersolidarity-net-tell-netanyahu-to-release-tair-kaminer-conscientious-objector