Former Deputy Defense Minister Dies in Israeli Jail
by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles
28 Dec 2010 17:38
Silverstein reported today that General Asgari was found dead in his cell, citing a source within the inner circle of Ehud Barak, Israel's Defense Minister. In addition, he reports that Ynetnews.com, a website covering Israel, also said that a prisoner has committed suicide. The story, however, has been pulled down under a gag order. Silverstein had downloaded the page from Ynet before it had been removed.
Haaretz, the relatively liberal newspaper, has also reported on the incident, but in a vague and indirect manner, and provided clues as to what may have happened. The article is in Hebrew, but Silverstein provides a translation of the important passages. Writing about those who die in Israel's prisons, Haaretz states that such deaths are investigated to see whether a "government agency" may have had a role in the death. It then writes:
Did such an agency have an interest in silencing the detainee? And if so, was the death declared a "suicide" really a murder? In the case of the death of a former prisoner under special treatment [held by the security services], why was it not within the power of the Prison Service to prevent the suicide or some other form of violent death?
Silverstein also states that his source for the original report on General Asgari's detention in Israel has confirmed that it is the General and not another prisoner who died in his cell.
If the report is accurate -- Silverstein's reports usually are -- the question is, Did General Asgari really commit suicide, or was he murdered to cover up the entire story, hoping that it would fade from memory? It is too early to tell.
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