'Disengagement protest pardons discriminate against Left'

12 left-wing activists petition High Court against new law.

Twelve left-wing activists who have been detained by police, including some facing criminal charges, petitioned the High Court of Justice on Monday against a new law that dropped criminal procedures, granted pardons and erased criminal records for hundreds of people charged or convicted of breaking the law during the 2005 protests against the disengagement from Gaza.
Eleven of the 12 petitioners were arrested during the protests that have been taking place against the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The other was arrested during a protest marking International Struggle Day to Prevent Violence against Women.
The protesters include Eyal Nir, who teaches physics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, Sarah Benigna, 27, an art teacher and student, Yoav Barak, a philosophy student, and Noa Gez, 31, a student, all of whom face criminal charges for participating in the weekly Sheikh Jarrah protests.
Uri Ayalon, 30, has been charged with taking part in an illegal gathering, interfering with a policeman and lawless behavior during the protest against violence toward women.
The petitioners, represented by attorneys Yiftah Cohen and Omer Shatz, called on the court to overrule the law, which was approved by the Knesset in final reading on January 25, because it discriminated against people of certain political beliefs for ideological reasons.
"We support pardoning the opponents of disengagement," the lawyerswrote in their petition. "The petitioners express this support as partof a general approach that supports granting pardons... to any personwho is arrested, suspected or charged with an offense that was born outof the need to act according to his conscience... Nevertheless, thisdoesn't mean we ought to remain silent in the face of a discriminatorylaw."
The protesters said the court should cancel the law andthe Knesset should pass legislation "that will grant appropriate andequal protection to all protesters from illegal law enforcementmeasures against freedom of speech."