I have just confirmed through the Israeli NGO, HaMoked, that the story of Dirar Abu Seesi, who appears to have been kidnapped by the Mossad and transferred to Israel (though the NGOs have not confirmed this particular part of the story), is under a military censor’s gag order. I’ve just spoken to his attorney, Michal Rochabi-Dansiger, a government appointed public defender, and she is not allowed to breath a word of his story or detention. I am still trying to contact his sister, but it is late Israel/Gaza time so I haven’t been able to speak to her.
Thanks to reader John Dickerson, who notes that Israel, in kidnapping him, has violated at least one major UN human rights convention (and probably many other sections of international law), the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The document has been signed by 110 countries with several notable exceptions including Israel and the U.S.
At least now I know why the story has been met with a resounding silence by the Israeli media. But I still don’t understand why foreign reporters based there with whom I’ve shared the story have not been willing to publish.
I’m also still waiting to hear an explanation from Ukrainian authorities about how Israeli intelligence agents were able to kidnap a foreign citizen on their state transport system and spirit him out of the country right under the noses of Ukrainian authorities. It would be an embarrassment to any other nation. I wonder what the Ukrainians have to say. So far, they’ve been mum.
As I wrote yesterday, Abu Seesi is now in Shikma Prison outside Ashkelon after being transferred from the Shabak torture (er, detention) center in Petah Tikva.
Abu Seesi has six children who haven’t seen their father since February 18th, and until today didn’t know where he was. They still don’t know when they’ll ever see him again.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.