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Israel: Second Prison Term for Conscientious Objector Ajuad Zidan
by New Profile
Conscientious objector Ajuad Zidan, 18, from the town of Beit Jann, a Palestinian member of the Druze religious community, was sentenced to 20 days of imprisonment on 14 Dec for his refusal to enlist in the Israeli military. This is his second term in prison (he was earlier sentenced to 10 days in prison on 30 Nov., although he was released a few days early following the evacuation of Military Prison no. 6 during the fire on Mt. Carmel earlier this month). He is currently held in Military Prison no. 4.
Members of the Druze community, unlike most other Palestinian citizens of Israel, are conscripted into the Israeli army. Explaining his refusal to enlist Ajuad Zidan stated to the press that "the loneliness of the prison cell is one thousand times better than standing in front of my people while pointing a gun at them, or imposing a curfew on them". On top of that, Ajuad has also stated his refusal to carry weapons or be part of any military force in general.
Ajuad is due to be released on 30 December, and is likely to be imprisoned again afterwards. We have only received full information on his case (and an explicit authorisation to publish it) at this late stage, so, currently sending him messages directly to prison will not make much sense (he will be out by the time they arrive). However, letters of support and encouragement can still be sent to him via e-mail to: messages2prison(at)newprofile.org (hitting "reply all" to this message will send the message to the same address), and they will be printed out and delivered during either on a visit or shortly after his release.
New Profile: eMail, December 27, 2010.