December 15: 5th Special Legislative Session Begins.
I have seen extensive documentation of Palestinian prisoners subject to lengthy sentences under horrendous prison conditions, after a questionable process of "justice" was undergone. If my friend from Israel visits again, please bring your documentation in Israel's defense - embed your links, and I might put it up as a guest post instead of just bury it as a comment - we'll see.
Remember the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights tomorrow. There aren't that many of them - it's easier to memorize than the US Constitution, and the principles in the UN document could set more people free than ours did, if we abided by them.
Unfortunately, our constitution left a lot of people out of the whole freedom promise to begin with. As it is today it still doesn't even protect the rights of prisoners: we made them into slaves of the state. No wonder guards are so ruthless - they grow up taking their cues from the rest of us that some people's rights don't matter...
Some of those people locked up aren't guilty, but none of those of us who are free are innocent, so long as we ignore them when they call for help.
They've been calling for a long time. It's up to us to either answer, or walk away. No one can remain neutral once they hear them, though - as Elie Wiesel once said, neutrality always sides with the oppressor...
here]. I will post the English translation when it becomes available; however, the main reasoning and implications of the case discussed below should be suggestive of its importance.
The panel of nine justices, presided over by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, ruled in an 8-1 decision that a transfer of authority for managing the prison from the state to a private contractor whose aim is monetary profit would severely violate the prisoners' basic human rights to dignity and freedom. (See Tomer Zarchin, International legal precedent: No private prisons in Israel, HAARETZ)
In 2004, the Knesset passed Amendment 28 to the Prisons Ordinance, which permitted the establishment of private prisons in Israel. The state's motivation was to save money by transferring prisoners to facilities managed by a private firm, to be chosen by tender. The state would pay the franchisee $50 per day for each inmate, but would be spared the cost of building new prisons and expanding the Israel Prison Service's staff...