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Monday, May 06, 2013

Dozens Protest For Release of Israeli Ouda Tarabin From Egyptian Prison

Last month, I posted about Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli Arab, being held in Egypt on espionage charges without due process.

Israel's Reshet Bet is now reporting that while the Israel government appears to be doing nothing on his behalf, dozens are protesting for Ouda Tarabin:

Parents of Ouda Tarabin
Parents of Ouda Tarabin
In Beit Kama junction in the Negev dozens of people are demonstrating for the release of Ouda Tarabin, Israeli citizen imprisoned in Egypt for nearly 13 years for spying. The demonstration was organized by the kibbutz movement. Among the participants were Tarabin's family and Noam Shalit. Tarabin Ouda's father, Salman, said the family felt angry that the state is not doing enough to release him - and he was already in captivity for two years and a half. Noam Shalit said that he had come to identify with him because he knows first hand the situation the family is in. He said it is not possible to not do enough to release an Israeli citizen whose father contributed greatly to the country's security. [based on Google translation]
This a cropped version of the photo his parents are holding:

Ouda Tarabin
Photo of Ouda Tarabin

It is not clear from this article what it is that Ouda's father did for Israel -- perhaps something in the area of providing intelligence.

What is clear is that the case of Ouda Tarabin is not getting the attention it deserves.

Shlomi Eldar writes in Why Did Israel Forget About a Prisoner in Egypt?
Were it not for the extensive efforts volunteered by attorney Yitzhak Meltzer, it is likely that Tarabin’s case would not be on anyone’s agenda. The Israeli media gave intensive coverage to the imprisonment of Azzam Azzam, an Israeli Druze in Egypt, and even covered the arrest of a US-Israeli tourist, Ilan Grapel, in Egypt after the revolution that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. On the other hand, the media has almost completely ignored Ouda Tarabin. This could be because he is a Bedouin prisoner, or perhaps because his motives for entering Egypt illegally were criminal. Regardless, Ouda Tarabin just about disappeared. He was the quintessential “Prisoner X.” Given the dearth of information about Ouda, attorney Meltzer began his campaign by exposing the Israeli public to his story. Meltzer hoped that public pressure would eventually force the decision-makers to act.
No one is acting yet.
But the Tarabin family is not giving up.

Hat tip: דויד הירשפלד

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