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Peres commutes sentence for prisoner undergoing gender change

in ISRAEL, 09/11/2013

President Shimon Peres has commuted the sentence of a prisoner who had appealed to have a 10-months jail sentence commuted to six months of community service.

He acted on Thursday in response to rare humanitarian circumstances and at the recommendation of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

The appellant, who remains anonymous and who is referred to only by the initial R., is undergoing a gender change process from female to male, and commenced “his” sentence in solitary confinement, totally separated from other prisoners. As a male, he cannot be placed with women, even though he was born a female, and he cannot be placed with men, because the sex change is not complete. Prison authorities had had no choice other than to place him alone. The total isolation has had an extremely bad effect on his mental health.

To protect the privacy of the prisoner, the president’s office declined to go into further detail, other than to state that Peres thoroughly familiarized himself with the case before signing the order commute the sentence.

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