Women's groups welcome decision not to grant former president Katsav parole

Women’s groups on Thursday welcomed the decision by the Israel Prison Service parole board to reject former President Moshe  Katsav’s early release.

"The possibility of granting parole to a former president of the State without him having admitted to the severity of his actions and taking responsibility and apologizing to the victims is intolerable," said Gila Oshrat, chairwoman of the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) Israel.

“"When the number one citizen is convicted of such serious sexual offenses he becomes the number one rapist and as such his release would have sent the wrong message and would have been a breach of trust for women and rape victims in the judicial system,” she said.

Oshrat called on Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to add special criteria towards granting parole to prisoners of sexual violence, such as requiring them to take responsibility and express remorse.

Earlier in the day Orit Sulitzeanu, chairwoman of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel said that the public should be reminded that Kastav is a "despicable sex offender who has never internalized the seriousness of his actions and who still defines the sexual offenses for which he was sentenced as 'close ties.'"

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