Friday, July 13, 2012

Israeli prisoner Tarabin plans to sue Egypt

We've discussed the plight of Israeli citizen Ouda Tarabin before, but he is hoping that the new Egyptian regime might treat him better than the last.

From Egypt Independent:

Ouda Tarabin, a dual Egyptian-Israeli citizen [sic] currently serving time for espionage, plans to file a lawsuit against the Egyptian government at the International Criminal Court for unlawful arrest. He demands to be released and to receive compensation of US$100 million.

Tarabin was found guilty of spying for Israel and sentenced to 15 years in prison at the Ismailia Military Court in 2000. He has been imprisoned in Egypt ever since.

In April, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that Israel and Egypt were allegedly in talks to release Tarabin in exchange for the release of 60 Egyptian prisoners held in Israel, but the deal fell through.

According to an Israeli television channel, a team from the United Nations Commission of Human Rights has investigated Tarabin’s case, and recently stated that Tarabin was subjected to arbitrary arrest and had not received a fair trial.

The channel added that Tarabin’s lawyers are planning to use that recommendation to support their case against the Egyptian government.

Tarabin’s defense team sent a letter to President Mohamed Morsy demanding his release during Ramadan, or at least a retrial, the TV station claimed.

The channel reported that a delegation from the Israeli Embassy in Cairo has visited Tarabin twice in prison. They quoted the detainee as saying, “I lay all the hopes of my release on the new regime, and I am sure they will realize that my arrest was not fair.”
As far as I know, he is an Israeli Arab but he is not a dual Egyptian-Israeli citizen. (I don't think that is even possible.)

It is a disgrace that Tarabin's plight has not been publicized more. He should have been released as part of the Ilan Grapel deal last year. In fact, I have much more sympathy for Tarabin than for Grapel, whose naivete was reckless and ultimately dangerous.

UPDATED: The document above states he was born in the Sinai in 1981, Israel handed over control of the area in 1982 but it is unclear how or when his family ended up in Israel. (h/t Prof Ginzburg)