Panel blasts Amir's 'cushy' conditions

MK Ophir Paz-Pines sends Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch letter complaining Amir treated as political- and not as security-prisoner.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL, SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL
December 4, 2007 22:26
1 minute read.
Panel blasts Amir's 'cushy' conditions

Yigal Amir evil 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
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The Prisons Service must enforce more stringent conditions on Yigal Amir, the convicted assassin of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, charged the Knesset's Committee on the Interior Tuesday. In a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, Committee Chairman Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor) said that Amir was being given the terms of a "political prisoner" rather than a "security prisoner" - receiving access to a cell phone, more time for personal phone calls and visits from second-degree family members. "This murderer is enjoying prison conditions which he does not deserve," said Paz-Pines, who served as the Labor Party youth leader at the time of Rabin's death. On Sunday, the Interior Committee visited Hadarim Prison, receiving an overview of the Israel Prisons Service from IPS head Chief Warden Benny Kaniak, who took the opportunity to blast the cushy conditions afforded to Amir. Paz-Pines initiated the discussion, asking Kaniak why Amir is offered better conditions than security prisoners when Amir is a security prisoner in every sense of the term. "Amir benefits from unique conditions thanks to the courts," said Kaniak. "The IPS stood alone against the State of Israel on the matter of Amir. Every condition of Amir's imprisonment - the circumcision, the books and the cellular phone, are due to judicial decisions." Last month, Amir celebrated his son's circumcision behind the walls of Rimonim Prison after the Supreme Court upheld his right to be present at the ceremony. The IPS, however, did everything within their power to prevent the circumcision from being seen as a celebration or festive event.

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