Action Alert: Christian CO Imprisoned by IDF

Date: 97-03-20

I share the personal communique below for your information and action.

I have met this young man; stood beside him in non-violent witness; listened to his wisdom-beyond-years in advocacy planning; marvelled at his quiet, unpretentious commitment. He is a truly conscientious objector. His plight provides an absolute and concrete instance for protest action on our part. Please send your letters or email messages to the Israeli officials. Also notify your own religious and political leaders and local media. This is a human interest story that catches attention while opening a rat's nest of injustice issues to public scrutiny.

Peace. John Worrell

Hi John,

This is Anne from Lynda Brayer's office. I hope you remember me. If you don't I guess Lynda Brayer's office is enough of a friendly calling card.

I am writing to you also as a member of Conscientious Objectors in Israel in the hope that you might be interested/able to do something for a Christian pacifist CO imprisoned for the third time.

The boy's name is Sergei Ashin (19). He arrived in Terra Santa with his parents in 1994. He is a devout tolstoyan Christian. His application for an exemption on conscientious grounds was rejected, since "he applied too late", as if there is an expiration date for conscience. Another reason for the rejecting his application was that he refused to do "recognized service", i.e. in the border police, police, ministry of defence etc. in place of ordinary military service.

Lynda petitioned the High Court of Injustice on his behalf. The judges were furious that a Christian dares to come to a Jewish State, remain Christian and refuse to serve int he Israeli Defence Forces. One on the Judges asked Lynda "What's violent about the army?"

He was arrested for the third time yesterday at 3:00 am. I have just been informed that he was beaten up by gaurds in Gaol 6 for refusing to put on prison uniform.

I would be more than grateful if you could do something for him.