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Report: Sick Palestinans suffer neglect, abuse in Israeli jails

Oct. 11, 2008 3:51 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2008 3:51 P.M.)
Nablus - Ma'an - Two Palestinian prisoners' rights groups 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 a petition with Israel's High Court of Justice on behalf of Alaa Badawi, a prisoner serving a 25-year-sentence at Nafha Prison.

The petition alleges that Israeli prison guards failed to provide the inmate with medically necessary treatment. Badawi suffers from a stomach disease that, without medication, causes him to lose weight rapidly. As a result of the guards' alleged refusal to give him anything other than diarrhea medication, Badawi currently weighs just 34 kg.

The petition filed with the Israeli High Court compiles numerous violations at the prison, but focuses on the neglect of Badawi's long medical file.

Fellow inmate and prisoners' representative Muhammad Abu Rabi'ah said that prison workers neglected other prisoners, and continue to do so. He claimed that prison officials regularly refuse inmates access to medical specialists willing to treat them. And even when their families offer to pay for treatment themselves, Israeli authorities refuse them, citing "security reasons," he said.

Earlier on Saturday, the Gaza-based Center for the Study of Detainees alleged medical negligence in other Israeli prisons, which has led to thousands of illnesses. The center added that among the 2,000 cases, almost 200 were severely ill as a result of the lack of proper treatment.
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