RAMALLAH, August 28, 2016 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) Sunday said that there are 17 sick Palestinian detainees currently being incarcerated in the Ramla Israeli Jail under difficult conditions that do not take into account their physical and medical needs.
PPS noted that the sick detainees have complained about the ‘abusive’ policy practiced by the prison’s administration against them.
PPS stressed that sick detainees are not treated differently than other prisoners, maintaining that the prison administration does not take their difficult health condition into consideration.
PPS cited the case of detainee Yousif Kawazbeh, who suffers from diabetes, a dislocated shoulder, and heart, joints, and abdominal problems. He also suffers from water retention in the body.
To be noted, "The provision of health care for prisoners is a State responsibility. Prisoners should enjoy the same standards of health care that are available in the community, and should have access to necessary health-care services free of charge without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status." -Rule 24 of Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners in May 2015 (Mandela Rules).
According to Addameer human rights center, “The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has adopted a policy of deliberate medical neglect against prisoners and detainees. Human rights organizations estimate that since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000 until 2008, 17 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israeli prisons and detention centers as a result of medical negligence.”
During 2014, the number of ill persons among the prisoners and detainees increased to over 1000, an increase compared with 800 sick cases in 2013, added Addameer.
The center added, The testimonies of prisoners and detainees indicate the presence of 200 prisoners suffering from chronic illnesses, 25 suffering from cancer, and 85 from various disabilities (physical, mental, psychological, and sensory), while another 25 prisoners and detainees permanently reside in the clinic of Ramleh prison.
Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that prisoners and detainees should enjoy conditions of food and hygiene sufficient to maintaining good health, which should be “at least equal to those obtaining in prisons in the occupied country.”
It also states that shall receive the medical attention required by their state of health, and that they shall have the right to receive at least one relief parcel monthly.
Article 85 also emphasizes that the detaining power is bound to take all necessary and possible measures to ensure that protected persons shall, from the outset of their internment, be accommodated in buildings or quarters which afford every possible safeguard from humidity, and with sufficient warmth and lighting, in addition to having sufficient sleeping space and ventilation.
Regarding medical attention and inspections, articles 91 and 92 of the Fourth Geneva Convention emphasize that every place of internment shall have an adequate infirmary, under the direction of a qualified doctor, where detainees may have the attention they require, in addition to medical inspections of internees shall be made at least once a month, whose purpose is to supervise the general state of health, nutrition of internees, and to detect contagious diseases.
Addameer said that, Doctors and other medical staff employed by the IPS find themselves in a situation of “dual loyalty”, whereby their primary obligation is towards the State and the Israeli security apparatus, rather than the patient.
“Doctors working in detention and interrogation centers often fail to report incidents of torture and ill-treatment to the relevant legal authorities for fear of losing their jobs. Similarly, physical signs of torture and abuse are rarely reported in the detainee’s medical files making it almost impossible for the victims to seek justice and compensation.”