PCHR Demands Public Prosecution to Investigate Circumstances of Death of Detainee in Ansar Prison Two Days After Being Taken to Hospital
Date: 12 June 2022
Time: 18:30 GMT
Yesterday morning, medical sources announced death of a detainee at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City two days after referring him from Ansar Central Prison due to his deteriorating health condition.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 06:50 on Saturday, 11 June 2022, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City announced death of (N. H.) (44), from al-Shokah village in Rafah, due to an acute heart failure.
Detainee’s brother (H. H.) (38) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:
“My brother (N. H.) had been arrested by Rafah Anti–Narcotics Police on criminal grounds since 01 November 2021, and then taken to Ansar Prison. During his arrest, he was brought before the court several times, but no sentence was issued against him. For more than a month, my brother started complaining of pain in his chest, and he told us that he was taken to the prison clinic and given some medicines and painkillers without diagnosing his health condition. While his pain continued, his wife and us applied about 4 times for a leave for treatment, but all our requests were rejected. On Wednesday evening, on 08 June 2022, the prison service informed us that they approved to give him a leave, so my brothers and I rushed to Ansar Prison, and we delivered our IDs upon their request. They told us that our brother will later join us, so we return home. At around 09:30 on Thursday, we were informed that my brother N. H.) was at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at al-Shifa Hospital. My brothers and I headed there to find him in a coma and there were police officers, who asked us to sign that we received our brother (N. H.). My brother (‘A. H.) (42) signed and then the police officers left the hospital. On Saturday morning, 11 June 2022, my brothers and I went to al-Shifa Hospital, where we were informed that my brother died at around 07:30, and he was taken to the hospital morgue. We saw him as a dead body and there were no signs of torture on his body. We asked the Forensic Medicine Department about the death cause and were told that he died due to an acute heart failure. At approximately 14:30 on Saturday, we received our brother’s corpse, and buried him in al-Sawahrah cemetery, southwest of Nuseirat refugee camp.”
PCHR emphasizes that the General Directorate of the Reform and Rehabilitation Centers, the Ministry of Interior, the Public Prosecution share the responsibility for the lives of detainees and bear full responsibility for such incidents regardless of their causes, as per the Law of Reform and Rehabilitation Centers No. 6/1998, as stipulated in Article 7, “…Inmates in any prison remain under the legal guardianship of the prison director…” Additionally, this responsibility stems from Palestine’s obligations under the first rule of the UN Minimum Standard Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, (the Nelson Mandela Rules): “The safety and security of prisoners, staff, service providers and visitors shall be ensured at all times.”
PCHR calls upon the Public Prosecution to open an investigation into the death circumstances, make sure that health measures taken in dealing with him are appropriate, for fear of medical negligence, publish the results to the public and take all the necessary legal proceedings.