"Clandestine arrests and detentions are unacceptable and inconceivable in a democratic state. They pose a tangible threat to the rule of law and undermine the public's confidence in the legal system," MK Nitzan Horowitz
(Meretz) wrote in a letter sent to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
back in 2010.
The subject matter of his letter was the detention of an Australian national, known as "Prisoner X,"
in the Ayalon Prison.
With the coming to light of some of the details surrounding Ben Zygier's
detention and death, Horowitz posted the 2010 letter to his Facebook page.
The letter, he claims, was sent after he read about the mysterious detention in Ynet.
"I warned that holding a man in complete isolation and under a cloud of complete anonymity was extremely serious. The matter was placed under a rigorous gag order, which still stands," he said.
"Following that letter, I received a call from a very senior official in the law enforcement establishment, who assured me that 'everything was under control' and that 'no prisoner was being held in some deep dark room.'"
However, the events of the past 24 hours seem to point to a very different reality, he told Ynet. Horowitz urged the AG to launched an immediate probe into the circumstances of Zygier's death and investigate the case in its entirety.
"Most importantly, we have to make sure that there aren’t any others like him," Horowitz stressed.
Speaking to Ynet Wednesday the Meretz
MK said that "This case proves how dangerous this method of 'anonymous detention' and complete isolation is. It's not something that is practiced in a democratic state and even of certain security needs must be met, oversight and supervision must be exercised."
"Prisoner x" was also the focus of Wednesday's meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which serves in a temporary capacity pending the formation of the new government.
MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid)
said that the "State made quick use of its 'big guns'; referring to the comprehensive gag order placed on the case to begin with, and the defense establishment's attempt to further contain the story in Israel once it was published by foreign media outlets.
MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud)
vehemently disagreed, saying that the security nature of the case made it "inappropriate for public debate."
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