Medical Concern for Palestinian detainee held in Ashkelon prison

PCHR is gravely concerned about the health of Palestinian detainee, Zuhair Zuhdi ‘Ali Mohammed, 37, from Gaza city, who is currently detained in Ashkelon prison.  Mohammed was transported to hospital this morning following rapid deterioration in his condition. 

According to a PCHR lawyer who has been representing Mohammed, he was transferred to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon this morning.  He is expected to be moved tomorrow morning to Ekhilov Hospital in Tel Aviv to undergo an open-heart surgery. 

Mohammed was arrested by Israeli Occupying Forces on 27 August 2003 at the Rafah Terminal on his way to Egypt.  Following his initial arrest he was transferred to Ashkelon prison.  He had been denied access to legal counsel for 7 days. 

A PCHR lawyer was finally able to visit him after this period.  Mohammed reported suffering from bronchial asthma, and an inflammation in the internal lignin of the stomach.  PCHR is concerned that the deterioration in Mohammed’s health is a direct result of the inhuman detention conditions, including the denial of access to medical attention, to which he has been subjected during his period of detention. 

PCHR has submitted information regarding Mohammed’s case to a number of international organizations concerned with protection of detainees’ rights, in an attempt to urge these organizations to intervene with Israeli authorities to ensure adequate treatment for Mohammed. 

PCHR calls upon all relevant international organizations to intervene to ensure the protection of detainee rights, including with respect to conditions of detention, and access to medical services and supplies.