Opinion article* written for The Newcastle Herald by Dr Robert Imre, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, The University of Newcastle.

The  ‘‘Prisoner X’’ issue will keep bubbling along  and various political motivations will drive people to make claims and counterclaims.

Issues about the Israeli state, Zionism, and the effectiveness of the Australian diplomatic corps remain as controversies.

When and how anyone may or may not have been informed are also problems  surrounding the disappearance and death of Ben Zygier. The important issues in the morass of all of this are something else, however, and we confuse them at our peril.

First, Prisoner X had a name, a family, and people who cared about him.

Whatever he may have done, Ben Zygier was a  human being and as human beings, we must speak out when governments do questionable things. Shrugging our shoulders and saying   ‘‘he was a dual national’’ or that he  ‘‘worked for the Mossad’’ are facts, but those facts do not allow torture, disappearance or imprisonment without trial.  States cannot cause human beings to disappear, cannot be allowed to engage in torture, and cannot get away with allowing someone to die alone in a jail cell.

Read the full article in the Newcastle Herald.

* Opinion pieces represent the author’s views.