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Medical negligence in Israeli prisons leads thousands to suffer

Oct. 11, 2008 10:11 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2008 10:11 A.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Medical negligence in Israeli prisons left 2000 sick and at least 160 dealing with severe diseases without the aid of proper treatment according to the Center for the Study of Detainees.

Director of the Detainees Centre Ra'fat Hamduna, who himself served 15 years in Israeli jails, organized several visits to the jails by medical professionals. The nurses and physicians were to provide basic treatment of the prisoners and organize further appointments and medications or surgeries for those in need.

Hamduna said that medical workers found many prisoners in very poor health, especially as the weather turns cold this fall. He said medical neglect is certainly one of the major causes of death for Palestinians serving in Israeli prisons.

In a report released on Saturday Hamduna asserted the importance of the health of the prisoners, saying that it is a crime to have the sons and daughters of Palestine suffer so badly in prison. He further stated that their suffering is compounded by the worry and grief of their parents and family, who are powerless to help their loved ones recover.

The issue, he stated, is an international humanitarian one.

Another Palestinian prisoners' rights group on Saturday produced evidence of maltreatment, abuse and medical neglect at Israeli prisons in a petition filed with Israel's highest court.

An attorney representing the Palestinian Prisoners Association filed the petition with Israel's High Court of Justice on behalf of Alaa Badawi, a prisoner serving a 25-year-sentence at Nafha Prison. His lawyer alleged that guards intentionally prevented the man, who suffers from a stomach disease, access to medical specialists and essential medication.
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