Trans Woman Released from IDF Jail

Source: A Wider Bridge Staff
Published: April 5, 2016

Following the story of Aiden Katri, the transgender woman who refused to join the mandatory military service,the IDF sent her to an all-men’s prison. An IDF spokesperson: “The individual in question was sentenced to 7 days in military prison for refusing the draft as a conscientious objector.”

12321248_1207741129254454_872357144834035826_n
Aiden Katri’s selfie in prison

“At no point did the individual alert the relevant IDF officials regarding gender identification during the draft process. The IDF sees the importance of providing a space in which all recruits- of all genders, religions and races- can serve and examines each case on an individual basis.”

On Sunday, Katri was released from prison after her lawyer filed an urgent request to the high court. The state informed the high court that it will take a few more days until a decision is made in Aiden’s case, and she will not be jailed until then. This is the first time a plea of this kind is dealt with at the IDF and might help future treatment to transgender people at IDF prisons.

While in prison, Aiden used her five-minute break to post a video and write an update on Facebook. “I’m miserable from being treated like a man, and being placed in a male prison,” she said, “it’s important not to ignore the fact that a transgender woman entered a male prison, it’s a foundation for violence. I’m strong in my belief in the principle I represent.”

In the meantime, Aiden receives support from allies in Israel and abroad. “The decision to send Aiden into an all-men prison expresses insensitivity to her gender and to the delicate situation which she’s in,” wrote MK Michal Rozin in a letter to Minister of Security Moshe Yaalon. “The ignorance of the system of her gender identity doubles her punishment.”

Last week, Aiden appeared on Walla! News on the day she was supposed to join the mandatory army service and foresaw being taken to all-men prison. “I have no idea what will happen and I don’t even know which jail I’m going to go to,” Aiden said. “I suppose I’ll be sent to a mental health officer who will rule that I’m insane.”

“IDF is an organization that always seem to me like a 60 year-old ashkenazi-Jewish straight man. I, as a Sefaradi transgender woman will not know how to find myself in it because it won’t know how to include me,” Aiden said.