'Bionanotechnology from Theory to Practice' is a short online, course providing an interdisciplinary and up-to-date overview of the rapidly developing area of bionanotechnology
Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_90062

Rabin's killer given go-ahead to father child

18 June 2006
Appeared in BioNews 363

Israel's High Court of Justice has ruled that Yigal Amir, the assassin who killed Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, will be allowed to father a child using artificial insemination (AI). Amir was jailed for life without parole following the murder and married Larissa Trimbobler by proxy in 2004. The prison does not allow conjugal visits. The case was brought as former Knesset Members Neta Dobrin and Ronen Tzur petitioned against the ruling by the Israeli Prison Service that would allow Mr Amir to father a child. Their petition was rejected, allowing Mr Amir and Ms Trimbobler to proceed with AI treatment. Amir, an ultra-nationalist Jew, has shown no regret for shooting Rabin in an effort to stop the handover of Israeli land in any peace deals with Palestine. Trimbobler, a divorced mother of four, emigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union and has visited Amir in prison every two weeks for several years.

In their unanimous ruling Justice Ayala Procaccia wrote, 'Amir was and is one of the most widely condemned criminals in the Israeli national consciousness, if not the most widely condemned...Nonetheless, he, like all prisoners, has basic human rights that were not appropriated from him when he went to prison'. The ruling found that restrictions placed on Amir were related to his loss of freedom after being sentenced to life, other restrictions on his human rights may also be inherent in this loss of freedom. Any further restrictions that may be applicable were to be based on the interests of state security or other considerations of vital public interest. 'Beyond these, however, Amir is entitled, as is every prisoner, [to all the other] basic rights.' wrote Justice Procaccia.

As the Israeli Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom, which includes the right to a family, was not restricted by Amir's sentence then the court found that he has as much right as any other Israeli to start a family. A right provided by the basic law can only be withheld on the basis of a law or specific authorization, if the act is in accordance with the values of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, only for a worthy cause and only if the action taken is balanced. It was judged that to deny Amir a family would not meet these conditions.

The decision was greeted with dismay by Yossi Lahmani, the director-general of the Rabin center. He commented, 'The court should have understood, as the last bulwark of democracy, that this was not a technical-medical decision about inseminating a lady who, by all accounts, is eccentric and decided to become pregnant from the detestable killer, but a fundamental and special decision that distinguishes this 'shooter in the back of the nation' from other killers.'

The case mirrors the recent British case of Kirk Dickson, also serving a life sentence for murder, who has been denied the right to use AI to impregnate his, much older, wife. Mr Dickson, whose wife will be 51 when he is first eligible for release in 2009, took his case to the European Court of Human Rights claiming that the Home Office refusal to allow him access to fertility treatment breached his right to found a family and his right to family life provided in the European Convention on Human Rights. His appeal was rejected by a bare majority. As part of the ruling the court found that the nature of the crime committed and the welfare of any child that may be conceived under the circumstances must be taken into account.

Court allows Amir to father a child
The Jerusalem Post |  13 June 2006
High Court rules Amir may inseminate partner: 'He has basic human rights'
Haaretz.com |  15 June 2006
Rabin's Killer Allowed to Father a Child
The Washington Post |  13 June 2006
4 March 2013 - by Michelle Downes 
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has pledged to stop prisoners getting access to IVF treatment at the taxpayer's expense....
20 June 2011 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
The anger generated by the knowledge that in the UK only one prisoner since 2007 has been granted access to artificial insemination (AI) shows there is very little public support for prisoners starting a family while behind bars...
18 October 2010 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
Two Spanish prisoners have reportedly received IVF treatment while in prison...
30 April 2006 - by Professor Emily Jackson 
In the recent case of Dickson v UK, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), by a majority, decided that the British government's decision to deny a prisoner and his wife access to artificial insemination (AI) facilities was compatible with their rights under the European Convention of Human Rights, as...
24 April 2006 - by BioNews 
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that a British man who is serving a life sentence in prison for murder does not have the right to be allowed access to IVF treatment. Thirty-four year old Kirk Dickson alleged that the UK Government had breached his right to...
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.