Far Left activist sentenced to 3 months in jail (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Naama Cohen-Friedman Published: 12.27.10, 18:32)
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Court convicts Yonatan Pollack of illegal gathering; Association for
Civil Rights slams verdict
The Tel Aviv Magistrate´s Court sentenced far Left activist Yonatan
Pollack to three months in prison after convicting him of illegal
gathering during a Tel Aviv protest against the Gaza blockade almost
three years ago.
Pollak was also ordered to pay a fine of NIS 1,500 ($418). Judge
Yitzhak Yitzhak ruled that Pollak based on his personal convictions,
expressed in the remarks he made to the court.
The sentence imposed on Pollak follows a conditional sentence handed
out in the past for illegal gathering, sedition and property damage.
This sentence was given after Pollak refused to convert it to
community service during the plea stage.
As he exited the courthouse, a group of left-wing activists stood
outside and chanted: "He is innocent" and "Stop the occupation."
Pollak was sent to prison for his arrest back in January 2008. During
a protest against the Gaza blockade he rode his bicycle very slowly
along the streets of Tel Aviv, causing traffic jams.
In court Pollak charged he was being indicted strictly for political
Pollak´s attorney Gabi Laski claimed that her client was arrested
only because the police recognized him from previous demonstrations.
Among the left-wing activists who came to support Pollak during the
sentencing, were author Yoram Kaniuk and actress Liora Rivlin. Both
criticized the conduct of the court and the police.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel also criticized the
sentence. Its Chief Legal Counsel Dan Yakir said: "The fact that
Pollak was the only one arrested, even though he behaved just like
the rest of the protesters, and the fact that bicycle demonstrations
are usually held without police involvement raises a strong suspicion
regarding personal persecution and a severe blow for freedom of
expression, just because of his opinions. A prison sentence in the
wake of a protest is an extreme and exaggerated punishment."
(Copyright 2010 © Yedioth Internet 12/27/10)
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