Pollard Seeking "Prisoner of Zion" Status

Arutz Sheva - IsraelNationalNews.com - May 8, 2005 / 29 Nisan 5765

Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner today will petition the Supreme Court on behalf of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, seeking to have the government classify him as an American Prisoner of Zion.

An earlier request was rejected by officials, who explained America is not an enemy regime and being jailed for "spying," even on behalf of the Jewish State, is not an act that qualifies one as a Prisoner of Zion.

Atty. Darshan-Leitner's petition claims that this is not an appropriate distinction in general, and adds that in the Pollard case specifically, America is acting as an "enemy" and not as a "friend of Israel." In this context, Darshan-Leitner points out that Pollard's life sentence -- for passing information to Israel, classified by the US as a friendly nation -- is unprecedented . Persons convicted of actions similar to, or even more serious than, Pollard's generally serve only 4-7 years in prison. Pollard is currently in his 20th year of a life sentence.

Darshan-Leitner also listed many incidents of torture inflicted upon Pollard while he was in prison. He was put in solitary confinement and had his clothes taken away for long periods of time during the winter months, as well as his glasses. Pollard was also forced to sleep irregular hours on a concrete slab. Additionally, he was placed in a cell where he was chained to an iron chair while guards sprayed ice-water at him.

For an entire year, according to the appeal, Pollard was forced to reside in a special prison ward reserved for the mentally ill where he was subjected to electrocution.

According to the statement released by Darshan-Leitner's office, "The lawsuit also seeks a judicial review of the Israeli government's calculated mishandling of Pollard's case for the last two decades; and its consistent refusal to mount an effective campaign to secure his freedom, as it has done for agents captured in other countries - Cyprus, Switzerland, Jordan, and New Zealand, among them."

Pollard is in the 20th year of a life sentence in a US federal penitentiary for disclosing classified information regarding regional threats to Israel.

  • See Also: The Bagatz Page