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Daily Israel Report

Guards Who Let 'Get Refusenik' Escape to be Punished

Disciplinary steps taken against officers after 'get refusenik' Shai Cohen jumped out a window at the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court.
By David Lev
First Publish: 4/3/2013, 3:50 AM

Rabbinical Court
Rabbinical Court
Flash 90

Prisons Authority director Aharon Franco has ordered that disciplinary steps be taken against officers who were on duty when Shai Cohen, who had been in prison for refusing to grant a Jewish divorce to his wife, escaped from custody. Cohen escaped when he had been brought to the Rabbinical High Court in Jerusalem to discuss the possibility of his signing divorce papers.

Cohen is one of dozens of men who are in prison for refusing to give their wife a “get,” a Jewish divorce, without which they cannot remarry. Many, like Cohen, have been in prison for several years, and even decades.

Cohen was brought to the Rabbinical Court to discuss signing divorce papers, but was left alone for several minutes. He took advantage of the situation to jump out of an open window. He has since disappeared, and police believe he is likely to remain at large for a long time.

Franco ordered that sanctions be taken against the guards and officers who were in charge of accompanying and guarding Cohen after an internal affairs committee determined their liability. Four of the officers will tried by a disciplinary committee and will be reassigned. Actions will be taken against several other officers as well.