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Deteriorating conditions throughout Israeli prison system, serious violations in Al Naqab.

Bethlehem / PNN -- For prisoner Akram Abdul-Aziz Mansour a life sentence in prison may not take much longer to complete. He is one of hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners who the Israeli administration refuses to treat despite illness. Mansour is a detainee in the Israeli desert prison of Al Naqab where he and several others met with a Palestinian Prisoners Society lawyer this week. The PPS attorney reports that Mansour recently collapsed during morning exercises and was transferred to the prison clinic. The doctor there claimed that Mansour was fine. Prison officials were asked to bring in a medical specialist to treat skin allergies and high blood pressure for Mansour, who has been in Israeli prisons for 30 years. He is also reportedly suffering from insomnia and hearing loss in his left ear. The lawyer said that the administration has been ignoring Mansour's medical issues for four years, and that he may be suffering from a malignant tumor, as well as epileptic seizures. The lawyer also said that Mansour is extremely thin and cannot eat due to dental problems. Another political prisoner, Tarek Ghanem Zidane, worries about his own deteriorating health, caused by a gallstone. He says the stone has resulted in high blood pressure and heart palpitations, as well as severe headaches and diarrhea. He needs an operation and aftercare at the Ramle Prison Hospital, but the Israeli prison management refuses treatment.Mohammed Rafat Ali Safi from the village of Beit Soureik has been imprisoned since April 2002. He was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison during which he has undergone an increase in night raids of cells which are well-reported to be brutal and include insults and arbitrary punishments.Prisoner Abdel-Jawad, a 20-year-old Jericho man sentenced to 20 months in April 2008, told the PPS lawyer this week that the situation in Al Naqab Prison is very hard. The attorney pressured the Israeli prison administration to allow at least the introduction of seasonal clothes by families.Hatem Suleiman Asad, a man from Jenin Refugee Camp who was imprisoned in May 2004 on a nine-year sentence, is calling for international humanitarian organizations like the Red Cross to ensure adequate prisoner treatment. Asad said that he suffers from oral pain and broken teeth because of poor dental care, which has led to facial swelling and tender gums. Captive Mahmoud Abdullah Faqih from Ramallah says that his health continues to deteriorate and includes an incredibly painful cyst of ingrown hair on his back. The cyst appeared three years ago and such a condition is known to require a surgical procedure for its removal. However, Faqih has had no treatment. The cyst was discovered by prison doctors during a medical examination but nothing was done about it. Sentenced to 50 months in Israeli prison, the Ramallah man cannot wait. Even President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad lobbied on his behalf for urgent care.The PPS lawyer also met with a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine from the West Bank village of Qabatia. He has been in Administrative Detention, meaning without charge or trial, for 32 months. He called on the Israeli prison authorities to begin legal proceedings in accordance with administrative regulations, rather than arbitrarily denying rights to political prisoners. He said there are 27 such detainees there, all of whom have been denied basic rights.He said that the Red Cross ignored him when he told them about the plight of these detainees. He has run into many such difficulties with the prison administration, especially when officials manipulate intelligence in order to extend detentions for those prisoners who are nearing the ends of their sentences.Additionally, the lawyer discussed the problem of transporting prisoners. Trips that should take no more than hours are turned into days and are marred by physical and emotional abuse, the plight of thousands of Palestinians currently in Israeli prisons.

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Date:Jul 27, 2009
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