Denial of access to medical care in Israeli prisons

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI), a member of OMCT network, that two Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons are being denied access to medical assistance in spite of their deteriorating health conditions and repeated requests for such assistance.

Mr. Daoud Halmi Mohammed Seder (ID 911721280), 21 years old, was arrested on April 14th 2003 at his home in Hebron and is currently detained in the Shikma Detention Centre. Mr. Seder had reportedly previously been hurt by an electric shock and had to get 59 stitches. As a result, Mr. Seder is suffering from a chronic skin condition on his stomach, which necessitates special medical treatment that includes the cleansing of the damaged skin and its exposure to sunlight. Since his arrest, Mr. Seder hasn’t, so far, received any medical attention. His request for medical care and for being transferred to a cell with window has been refused. The prison doctor reportedly advised him to use the butter that he receives with his food as an ointment to rub on the affected skin.

As a result of very hot weather and lack of medical care, the condition of Mr. Seder’s skin has seriously deteriorated. He is currently suffering from intense itching and blotches have appeared on his body.

Mr. Louie Ibrahim Hassan Malesh (ID 905750626) was arrested on March 27th 2003 at his home in Bethlehem. He was detained at the Russian Compound Detention Centre in Jerusalem until his transfer, in May 20th 2003 to the Nitzan detention centre in Ramle where he is currently held. According to the information received, Mr. Malesh suffers from acute pains in a left molar tooth in his lower jaw, which provokes insomnia. Before his arrest, Mr. Malesh was reportedly undergoing a special treatment by a dentist, but his arrest put a stop to the treatment before its completion. It is reported that Mr. Malesh repeatedly requested medical attention to the prison administration without success. According to the information received, Mr. Malesh is also suffering from pains in his eyes, a deterioration of his vision and violent headaches. He has reportedly been asking medical cares for a month but hasn’t seen any doctor yet, the prison administration telling him to wait.