Prisoners struggle against medical neglect in occupation jails

prison-chainsThe Palestinian Prisoners’ Society reported on several cases of medical neglect by Israeli prison authorities on Sunday, January 20.

Abdel Nasser Shawish of Tubas, serving a life sentence in Shatta prison, lost his ability to walk as a result of medical negligence, the Prisoners’ society reported. Shawish suffered a sharp pain in one of his feet years ago and relied heavily on the other foot. A few days ago, he fell into the bath, which caused the loss of movement in his other leg. Despite several requests from the prisoners’ representatives, the prison administration refuses to transfer him to Afula hospital. The prisoners sharing a cell with him serve him and provide assistance with his daily needs. They reported that despite their requests for help they have received no response, speaking to a lawyer from the Prisoners’ Society who visited the prison. He has received only painkillers since his injury.

Ahmed Shinawi of Nablus has been suffering from severe pain since he fell from his upper bunk on December 20, 2012. Despite numerous visits by the prison physician, he was told he was only bruised and given painkillers. Finally, on January 16, 2013, he was transferred to the prison clinic after suffering severe pain in the rainy weather. There, he was told he had a broken hand and was moved to the hospital, where he was told his hand had already developed complications from the untreated fracture. He suffered for this time because he did not receive the necessary treatment. He is also sentenced to life impriisonment in Shatta. He is filing a complaint for damages against the prison doctor.

Mohammed Jaber Youssef from Gaza has also filed a lawsuit against the prison administration for medical neglect. He suffered from heart disease for years, and was identified as needing surgery in early 2011. He was arrested in 1990 and serving a 25 year sentence on chargest of resisting occupation. The prison administration has refused to move him from Eshel prison to the Ramle prison clinic to conduct tests and set a date for the operation, with the prison doctor claiming that he is in good health with no need for the operation. In October 2011, he was finally examined, and asked why he had not received the surgical procedure. The doctor informed him that the Eshel prison doctor was wrong when he told him that he was stable and did not need the operation. He was transferred finally on January 7 to Assaf Harofeh hospital to follow up on the treatment, only to find that his condition has worsened severely and now open-heart surgery is mandatory following the lengthy delay. He is still awaiting a new date for surgery. He is suing for the medical negligence, seeking damages and his release in order to obtain his operation abroad, having already served nearly 23 years of his 25 year sentence.

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