Ahead of Tuesday’s International Human Rights Day, a Facebook post surfaced Monday on the Hebrew-language “Free Jonathan Pollard” page reminding readers around the world to act for the Israeli prisoners’ release.
The poster, above, reads “Where is Justice and Human Rights for Jonathan Pollard?” and compares the case with that of Iranian agent Motjaba Atarodi. Atarodi was detained in the US on allegations of acquiring knowledge and technology for Iran’s nuclear program, but was released after just two years – as a humanitarian gesture to the Iranians.
The Daily Mail notes that Atarodi was swapped as part of precondition for negotiations leading to last month’s interim deal between Iran and Western countries. The US also released 3 other prisoners in 2012 back to Iran: Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan, Nosratollah Tajik, and Amir Hossein Seirafi. All of them were held on allegations relating to spying or purchasing goods for Iran’s nuclear program.
Pollard has been subject of a high-profile campaign for his release, after being held in the US for nearly 28 years on spying allegations. He was arrested by FBI agents in 1985 and held since. The site notes that this will mark 10,245 days in captivity.
The post has so far received over 1,200 likes and almost 1,000 shares.
Earlier this month, MKs united to call on the US to release Pollard, through the combined forces of Hilik Bar (Labor), Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), and David Azoulai (Shas). The trio filed a proposal for the Knesset agenda calling for Pollard’s immediate release.
The United States promised Israel that Pollard would serve no more than a ten-year jail sentence, according to Pollard’s former handler, ex-minister Rafi Eitan, but then reneged on the guarantee and jailed him for life.
Eitan said that Pollard has served more time in jail than anyone else convicted of a similar offense in the US, and apologized to Pollard “for his being in jail for so many years.”
Source material can be found at this site.