Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Dweikat loses sight after virus, medical neglect in Israeli prison

Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Mazen Amer Dweikat, 30, from Nablus, has been held in Israeli jails since 6 December 2016. He has completely lost his vision after an inflammation in his eyes which damaged his corneas and retinas, and his family says that the Israeli occupation and its prison administration is fully responsible for the loss of his sight.

Dweikat’s mother said in Asra Voice that her son had not suffered any injury or illness in his eyes before his arrest and noted that he has clearly been suffering for some time in prison. The prison administration cancelled his military court hearing on 9 November as well as his family visit; it was only after his family urged human rights institutions to check up on Dweikat after his sudden disappearance that he was revealed to be in Afula hospital, transferred from Gilboa prison, with a total loss of eyesight. His mother said that he looked tired when she was able to visit him on 24 October, before the sudden denials of visits, and his eyes appeared red, and that his treatment had been delayed. His father has been denied family visits with his son since he was first seized by occupation forces. He has had symptoms of disease for a month and was not treated promptly despite symptoms of infection.

He has still been denied family visits to date and his mother is demanding the opportunity to see her son as well as accountability for the loss of his sight caused by a policy of medical neglect inside Israeli prisons.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society noted on Sunday that several more prisoners are also suffering from health conditions that are continually declining, including Mohammed Hisham Alayan, 20, from Ramallah; he has suffered from severe pain yet was denied treatment until he was taken to the hospital two weeks after complaining of pain. One of his testicles was removed, and the doctors told him that his condition was worsened as a result of a treatment delay. Mohammed Jamal Eid, 18, from Nablud, has suffered from bowel problems since his arrest, has been diagnosed in need of surgery, yet still awaits treatment since he was seized by occupation forces since 25 September. Saed Mohammed Salah, 39, from Jenin, has been jailed since 2004; he has lost all of his teeth and needs surgery on his gums.