Yigal Amir (Archives)
Photo: Zoom Out Productions
Yigal Amir, who is serving a life sentence for assassinating former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, rejected on Sunday an offer from the State Prosecution that would allow him to hold a one hour bi-weekly torah study session with one fellow prisoner.
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"The offer disrespects the High Court's decision," Amir's attorney Ariel Atari wrote to the Petah Tikva District Court, claiming that the offer to ease Amir's confinement was unsatisfactory.
In December, the High Court of Justice rejected Amir's appeal to alter the terms of his imprisonment. The court ruled that he is to be held in solitary confinement for an additional six months. However, the justices wrote that they might consider allowing Amir to spend limited time with other prisoners, under supervision, for purposes such as a prayer quorum.
About a month later, the Petah Tikva District Court asked the State Prosecution to look into easing the conditions of Amir's detention - he has been serving his sentence in isolation for over 15 years. Around that time the abovementioned proposal was submitted to Atari, Amir's attorney.
"There is no doubt that this position reflects the attitude of the Shin Bet in general and of the Prison Service especially, that the court is at their service – otherwise it is impossible to understand their contempt towards the High Court conveyed by this proposal," Atari said.
'Freedom of worship violated'Moreover, Atari claimed that the State Prosecution is disregarding the High Court's suggestion to allow Amir to pray as part of a quorum under supervision.
"There is no doubt that the prosecution wishes to drag out the High Court's decision, and attempts to draw the court into some kind of negotiations, starting at the opening point, as though the High Court did not speak out," he said.
Atari noted that the prayer quorum is not just a social gathering, but is a basic right that Amir deserves – the freedom of worship.
"Of course, there is nothing to stop a prison service official from joining the quorum as a 10th man, enjoying Amir's poetry and hearing all his thoughts and conversations with the rest of the worshipers and with his God," Amir's attorney noted cynically. "If he finds any faults, he can report them to the court immediately."
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