NEW YORK (Jul. 17)
Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who is serving a life sentence at the federal penitentiary in Marion, Ill., for spying on behalf of Israel, ended a week-long hunger strike Thursday at the request of his parents.
“He had reached his limit,” his mother, Molly, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “At one point he fainted.”
He has resumed regular meals, but cannot eat very much, she said. “He’s coming along, though.”
Jonathan Pollard, 33, had been fasting since the night of July 7 to protest his deteriorating conditions in prison and the alleged mistreatment of his wife, Anne Henderson Pollard, who is serving two concurrent five-year sentences as an accessory to her husband.
Anne Pollard, who is imprisoned in the Federal Medical Center, a correctional institution in Rochester, Minn., suffers from a rare gastrointestinal disorder, which, according to her family, causes severe pain and could endanger her life. She also has had a cyst on one ovary that has not been removed, according to Molly Pollard.
“It’s a disgrace,” she said. “It’s a real abridgment of her rights.”
A picture of an emaciated Anne Pollard in a newspaper triggered her husband’s hunger strike, according to Molly Pollard.
“He was devastated,” she explained. “It was her whole appearance. He could not believe it.”
She is receiving better treatment now, though, her mother-in-law said, as physicians from the Mayo Clinic visit on a consultant basis.
While Jonathan Pollard hoped to call attention to his wife’s condition, he also wanted to protest the fact that his lawyer has not been able to represent him, that he has been refused access to the press and that all his outgoing mail has been recently confiscated and not sent out.
Last week, the Central Conference of American Rabbis called upon the entire movement of Reform Judaism to express support for Jonathan and Anne Pollard.
In a resolution passed unanimously by the executive board of the CCAR, a 1,500-member worldwide organization of Reform rabbis, the organization proposed that major Jewish and Christian organizations “encourage the United States government to re-evaluate the Pollard case, and to insure that the Pollards be treated with fairness and equity during their incarceration.”