IDF to release imprisoned conscientious objector

Military: Kaminer is unfit for duty; Kaminer: This is a small victory that allows me to become a free human being.

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July 14, 2016 23:19
1 minute read.
TAIR KAMINER

TAIR KAMINER is serving a sixth term at Military Prison No. 6.. (photo credit: SHANI SCARLETT KAGAN MESARVOT)

 
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The IDF discharged a 19-year-old conscientious objector from service on Thursday, after a lengthy period in military prison.

The military cited “a lack of compatibility and poor, severe conduct” in its decision to release Tair Kaminer.

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The decision came after the military rejected in June a request by Kaminer for release, and three days after a military committee rejected her application for conscientious objector status.

The 19-year-old is serving in Military Prison No. 6 for refusing military service. The prison sentence, which began on January 10, is the longest for a woman refusing to be drafted into the military.

In a statement delivered from prison, Kaminer, “This announcement, which has arrived after a struggle of more than seven months, is moving from a personal point of view, and is perhaps a small victory that will allow me to go back to being a free human being. But the bigger struggle is not over my imprisonment, but over the oppression of the Palestinian people, a struggle for the freedom, equality, security and peace of both peoples.”

Kaminer added, “Throughout the many detentions, the girls in prison kept on asking me: How do I do it? I always explained how much strength it gives you to know that you’re doing something you believe in, that you’re part of an important struggle, that you’re not acting alone, and that you believe you can make a change.”

According to the Mesarvot organization, which describes itself as a new network of conscientious objectors and NGOs, Kaminer was imprisoned alongside with Omri Baranes, an 18-year-old pacifist from Rosh Ha’ayin, who is now serving her third prison term.

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Kaminer and Baranes join hundreds of Israeli objectors who chose to avoid military service,” Mesarvot said.

Yasmin Yablonko, activities coordinator at Mesarvot, added, “Tair asked to be released on grounds of conscience, since the very act of serving in the army is, for her, taking part in the crimes of the occupation. The fact that it was decided to release her just a few days after her request was denied, proves that the army essentially acknowledges her conscientious choice, but is afraid of creating a legal precedent.”

Bernard Ellouk contributed to this report

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