Sick Palestinian prisoners suffering in Israeli jails, petition for early release

Image: Sami Abu Diak, via Asra Media Center

Sick Palestinian prisoners are continuing to struggle for their lives and health inside Israeli prisons. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Commission has submitted an appeal for the early release of Sami Abu Diak, 35, from the village of Silat al-Zuhair, south of Jenin.

The appeal in the case of Abu Diak, who was sentenced to three life sentences and 30 years and has been jailed since 17 July 2002, will be heard on 25 October. He has colon cancer and his health has been severely declining for years. Two years ago, he underwent four operations to remove tumors and 80 cm of his large intestine was removed. However, he developed an infection when he was returned to Ramleh prison clinic due to a lack of hygiene and was in a coma and in critical condition for a week. At the time, his request for early release was denied. However, his suffering has only continued in the ensuing years and his health is precarious.

Early release applications were also filed for several other Palestinian political prisoners, including the child prisoner Khaled Dabaya, 16, who is suffering from serious depression, does not speak to anyone and has lost a great deal of weight. He was held in solitary confinement for a long period of time. A petition was submitted to have him examined by a specialist, Mahmoud Saleh, who will submit a report on his case.

In addition, Nisreen Hassan, 40, from Gaza, has petitioned to undergo a screening for breast cancer. Fadi Abu Attia, from the al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, is serving a 12.5-year sentence and is currently suffering from severe psychological distress and loss of memory. He previously petitioned for release after a psychological crisis after the last hunger strike; however, a new request has been submitted as his psychological condition has only worsened since that time.

Mansour Moqtada from Salfit is sentenced to life imprisonment and is held permanently in the Ramle prison clinic. He was paralyzed due to his injuries from being shot by occupation forces at the time of his arrest and relies on colostomy bags and a “plastic stomach” for digestion. His health condition has remained continually very serious; the early release committee will hear his case on 27 December in the Ramle prison.

Hussein Atallah, from Nablus, is serving a 32-year sentence and is currently suffering from cancer and a severe health condition. An urgent petition has been filed for his early release. Meanwhile, Mohammed Bisharat, from Tubas, is serving an 18-year sentence and is suffering from life-threatening kidney disease. An outside doctor, Mohammed Masarwa, visited him on 5 October after a petition by the Commission’s lawyers, and a hearing on his early release will be heard on 19 October.

Meanwhile, ill child prisoner Anas Adnan Hamarsheh, 17, from the village of Yabad, had his detention extended for 11 days on Tuesday, 10 October; he was seized on Sunday morning in a pre-dawn raid when occupation forces invaded his family home. He is a high school student and the son of former prisoner Adnan Hamarsheh, who spent 11 years in Israeli prisons. Anas suffers from Perthes disease and requires treatment; he is in danger of losing his ability to walk.

Palestinian lawyer Moataz Shqeirat also urged legal and humanitarian action for Palestinian prisoner Khaled al-Shawish, held in the Ramle prison clinic. Al-Shawish used a wheelchair to move around and his right hand was hit by four bullets and was shattered, receiving a platinum implant. Two months ago, he received a bone graft in his hand and it was rejected, causing severe pain and infection. The graft and implant were removed, which could lead to the amputation of his hand.  He was told he would receive a further operation to restore the original metal implant, but has since been told that the operation will not be carried out.

Shqeirat highlighted the cases of the 15 sickest prisoners held in Ramle prison clinic who continue to suffer not only from their illnesses but from the medical neglect of the Israel Prison Service.