Saturday, March 01, 2008

(Israel) Women's rights groups: Former Israeli President, Katsav ruling made us lose faith in the justice system

Photo: AFP

Women's rights groups: Katsav ruling made us lose faith in the justice system

Hundreds march in Tel Aviv in protest of High Court's decision to uphold plea bargain signed between State, former president. 'Womens' sense of security shaken,' rights group says

Yael Branovsky

Published: 02.27.08, 19:56 / Israel News

Hundreds of demonstrators marched from Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to the District Prosecutor's Office Wednesday in protest of the High Court of Justice's decision to uphold the plea bargain signed between the State and former president Moshe Katsav.

During the rally, which was organized by 14 women's rights groups, protestors waved signs reading "Sexual Offenses – a social phenomenon" and "Moral turpitude now – no to Katsav deal".

The High Court of Justice rejected Tuesday morning, with a three to two majority, the petitions filed against Katsav's plea bargain, thus endorsing the deal signed between the president and the State Prosecution in June 2007.

Under the plea agreement signed with the former president, Katsav agreed to plead guilty to sexual harassment, indecent assault and harassing a witness in exchange for dropping the rape charges from the ongoing case against him.

According to Miryam Sheller, director of The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, the days following the court's decision have seen a rise in the number of women turning to the organization for help.

"Many women who are victims of sexual abuse have called and expressed their lack of trust in the justice system," she said.

Yahel Ash Kurlander, spokeswoman for the Isha L'Isha (Woman to Woman) organization, said the decision to uphold Katsav's plea bargain has "shaken Israeli women's sense of security".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can we do in the United States to help this women's group in Israel?

March 02, 2008 10:34 PM  

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