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Following HaMoked's petition: a father has visited his son who is incarcerated inside Israel, after two and a half years in which the Israel Prison Service banned the visit

On July 11, 2012, HaMoked petitioned the Court to permit the father to visit his son, who is serving 12 life terms in a prison inside Israel. The father, who had served a short term in prison inside Israel back in 1986 for a traffic violation, was banned by the Israel Prison Service (IPS) from visiting his son for being an ex-prisoner.

The authority to lift a ban against an ex-prisoner's visit rests with the commander of the prison in question. Before filing the petition, for almost two years, HaMoked kept applying to the Ramon Prison, with persistent demands that the ban be lifted or at least explained, but in vain. As, during that period, the IPS provided insufficient responses or none at all to HaMoked's applications in other cases as well, HaMoked sent a letter of complaint to the IPS Southern District Commander concerning the conduct of commander of the Ramon Prison, where the prisoner son was kept. In the letter HaMoked claimed that the prison commander's disregard of applications to revoke visit bans against ex-prisoners who wish to visit their loved-ones in the Ramon Prison, constituted a gross violation of the rules of proper governance and of the judgment in HCJ 5154/06, rendered in 2009.

In its petition on behalf of the imprisoned son, HaMoked recalled that the IPS may indeed refuse visits to a prisoner, but it should do so in accordance with the accepted principles of reasonability and proportionality, and provide reasons for the ban and its duration. HaMoked further claimed that since the father was in possession of a valid permit to enter Israel, it was clear that he was not deemed a security threat. By its policy of non-response or arbitrary refusal of ex-prisoners' applications to visit their loved-ones imprisoned inside Israel, the IPS was violating the right to family life of both the inmates and their families, guaranteed under both international humanitarian and Israeli law.

After the petition was filed, the IPS notified that the ban had been lifted and the father may visit his son. On November 8, 2012, after three years of not seeing his son, the father finally succeeded to visit his son in prison. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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