Medical Neglect Kills Palestinian Woman Detained in Israeli Prisons
Ref: 86/ 2022
Date: 02 July 2022
Time: 16:30 GMT
This morning, a Palestinian female detainee died after losing consciousness in the Israeli ‘Damon’ prison. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls for an immediate investigation into the death of the female detainee and is concerned that she might be a new victim of medical negligence in Israeli prisons.
The Israeli occupation authorities announced on Saturday morning, 07 February 2022, the death of Saadia Salem Radwan Matar (64), a Palestinian woman from Ethna village in western Hebron and detained in the Israeli Damon prison.
PCHR’s fieldworker reported that the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) detained Matar on December 18, 2021, after a settler assaulted her near Gotnik checkpoint that is100 meters away from al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City, claiming that she tried to carry out a stab attack.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club initially stated that the detainee, Saadia, fainted after her ablution, Wudu, so her inmates immediately took her to the prison clinic, where she laid down and eventually died.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club said in a statement that a court hearing was held last Tuesday for Saadia, who is the eldest among the female prisoners detained in the Israeli jails. The statement added that she attended the hearing on a wheelchair, and her lawyer had already asked the Israeli prison service to refer her to a doctor after her medical examinations showed that her health condition was getting worse due to high diabetes and pressure. The Israeli Prosecution asked in the hearing that she should be sentenced for five years in prison and fined with 15,000 shekels in compensation; however, no definitive sentence has been so far issued.
PCHR expresses its concern that Matar’s death is due to deliberate medical negligence that the Palestinian prisoners face in Israeli prisons.
The death of Matar sheds the light on the general deterioration in the conditions of the more than 4600 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails and shows the extent of the inhuman measures taken against them, particularly with regard to the medical negligence they are exposed to and lack of the medical treatment necessary for hundreds of patients, especially those suffering from chronic and serious illnesses.
PCHR holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the death of Palestinian prisoner Matar and for the lives of 500 ill prisoners, who would face the same fate if the policy of deliberate medical negligence continued, especially under the unhealthy imprisonment conditions where prisoners are denied adequate healthcare. Similarly, PCHR:
- Calls for a prompt and impartial investigation into the death circumstances.
- Calls upon the International Committee of Red Crescent (ICRC) to intensify and ensure efficacy of their follow-up of the conditions of Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails and their imprisonment conditions.
- Calls upon the international community to compel Israel to respect international law and international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.