Rights group calls for Yigal Amir's release from isolation

Physicians for Human Rights objects to "psychological damage" caused by solitary confinement of Yitzhak Rabin's assassin.

November 14, 2010 18:57
1 minute read.
Rabin assassin Yigal Amir in court

311_yigal amir in court [file]. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Physicians for Human Rights on Sunday called on the Israel Prison Service to end the solitary confinement of Yigal Amir because of the "psychological damage" that such isolation can cause a prisoner. Amir is serving a life sentence for the 1995 assassination of then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The Supreme Court was scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter of Amir's solitary confinement on Monday.

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"Psychological damage caused by isolation will manifest in a number of ways," a Physicians for Human Rights statement said, "including difficulty sleeping, depression, irrational fears, psychotic episodes such as visual and auditory hallucinations, episodes of paranoia, the experience of distortions in time and space, confusion and cognitive difficulties."

The organization rejected the state's claims that Amir must remain in isolation because his life would be in danger if he was kept in contact with other prisoners in the general prison population.

"Physicians for Human Rights calls upon representatives of the state to study other ways of dealing with the prisoner that will protect his person and his health. The state's solutions must negatively affect as little as possible the physical and psychological health of prisoners, including Yigal Amir," the organization said.

Physicians for Human Rights is a non-profit organization based in the US. The organization was a shared winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

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