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Countering Bias and Misinformation mainly about the Arab-Israel conflict

Amnesty International - please help relieve the suffering of families of kidnapped soldiers

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About Maurice Ostroff
 
An open letter to Amnesty International’s
Urgent Action Network

 

From Maurice Ostroff.           

July 19. 2006

 

To the Urgent Actions Network

Amnesty International,  International Secretariat, LONDON

FAX +44 20-79561157

 

PLEASE HELP BRING THE TORTURE OF THE FAMILIES OF ISRAELI CAPTIVES TO AN END.

 

As the stated purpose of your Network is to rapidly produce an internationally coordinated mass protest, to save someone from torture, I appeal for your assistance in relieving the intolerable suffering of the families of Israeli captives whose captors refuse to give any indication of their fate.

 

The impression that there is a direct comparison between the captured Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in Israeli jails is fundamentally incorrect. The families of Palestinian prisoners in Israel know where their loved ones are. They visit them and communicate by telephone.

 

By contrast, the Palestinians and Hizbullah, in open defiance of the Geneva Conventions, deliberately keep the families of captives in a state of unbearable anxiety by holding their captives incommunicado. What greater torture can one apply to any parent, than to capture a son, hold him against his will and refuse to give even the slightest credible hint about whether or not he is still alive or his physical condition or even whether he is being tortured..


May one hope that Amnesty International, will demand that, at the very least, the kidnappers allow the captured soldiers to be visited by the Red Cross or other neutral persons and to telephone to their parents in the presence of such neutral parties.

 

By the same token, your organization would be performing a great humanitarian service in conformance with your stated objectives, if it took up the tragic story of Israel’s missing in action soldiers. Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz  who have been missing for 22 years  Ron Arad for 17 years and  Guy Hever who went missing a few years after Arad.

 

AP and others have reported claims over the years by Lebanese and Palestinian militias about the fate of the MIA’s. Arad was reportedly sold over the years to different Lebanese factions including Hizbollah and moved back and forth between Lebanon and Iran..

 

In 1993, the late Yasser Arafat acknowledged that he knew of Baumel’s fate by handing one half of his identity tag to the late Yitzchak Rabin, with a firm promise that more information regarding the MIA's would be forthcoming. He reneged on the promise. 

 

Amnesty International, with its high ideals, cannot, in good faith, ignore this urgent need. With your International prestige and access to government officials world-wide, no doubt you will be able to achieve results where others have failed so miserably.

 

I would appreciate an acknowledgement by email or fax

 

Thanks

 

 

Signed - M. Ostroff

 

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