December 05,2015

40 disabled Palestinian detainees suffering in Israeli prisons

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While the world celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on the 3rd of December each year, 40 Palestinian disabled prisoners suffer in the prisons of the Israeli occupation.

They are exposed to various types of torture at the hands of the prison authorities that also deliberately ignore their health conditions and violate all international conventions and agreements on human rights.

Prisoners with disabilities suffer more than the other prisoners psychologically and physically.

Beside their physical disabilities and the pain in their bodies they also suffer from psychological stress and nervousness because of the poor medical treatment provided to them in light of the deliberate medical negligence policy followed by the Israeli prison service (IPS), as well as the arbitrary and repressive abuses against the prisoners, with absolute disregard to their health conditions, making their lives in constant danger.

The crippled captive Mansour Mouqadeh, 43, a resident of Azzawyeh near Salfit, who has been detained for 13 years since July 2002 and sentenced to life imprisonment, is serving his sentence in the Israeli prison hospital Ramle.

He said on the 3rd of December: "Death is much easier than my suffering, as my kinetic disability has doubled the misery of prison," he continues: "Our demands are totally different from the demands of persons with disabilities around the world; we are looking for freedom from the Israeli occupation prisons". 

Mouqadeh had been injured during his arrest when he clashed with the Israeli army, so they shot him with three bullets in the abdomen, the back and the pelvis. His injury led to paraplegia.

Different disabilities
There are various forms of disabilities inside the Israeli occupation prisons; for example, the Jerusalemite captive Alaa al-Bazyan, 35, is blind. He was among the Palestinian prisoners released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner swap deal, but the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) re-arrested him and re-imposed his previous life imprisonment sentence.

Al-Bazyan's visual disability did not prevent him from being active and well- known in all the detention centers and among all the detainees, despite the severe violations he suffered from with disregard to his disability, in a flagrant violation of the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The head of the Palestinian General Union of People with Disability (GUPWD), Rafiq Abu Seifen, told our correspondent that the number of prisoners with disabilities in the Israeli occupation prisons increases and decreases, but prisoners with severe disabilities are more than 40. However, he clarified, if we take into consideration the international classification of disability, the number of prisoners with disabilities will be much larger.

He stressed that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) do not take into account the person’s disability when they want to arrest him, despite the fact that the international convention identified standards of the arrest of persons with disabilities, and required that the facilities in the prison be consistent with the way they use them, especially since people with motor disabilities, for example, need a special design of the toilets so as to be able to use it, and so on.

Abu Seifen called for taking advantage of Palestine's accession to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to raise the case of the Palestinian disabled prisoners, considering it a crime against the rights of humans.

The researcher in the affairs of prisoners, Fuad Khafsh, opined in an interview with our correspondent, that there are various causes of disability of prisoners in the Israeli jails, some of them were already suffering physical disability when arrested, while others who were arrested during an armed clash with the IOF and had been shot suffered a disability as a result.

Khafsh noted that the more serious is that of those who became disabled during their arrest, as a result of not receiving the appropriate treatment when they were injured during their arrest, or as a result of cumulative medical negligence, which led to kidney failure or loss of vision or loss of movement.

He pointed out that the IOF shortly before the World Day for Disability had arrested an activist in the prisoners' affairs, Adnan Hamarsheh, who suffers from motor impairment due to a stroke, without taking into account his health condition, which indicates that the Israeli occupation disregards any human rights standards.

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