Monday, October 26, 2020

Palestinian prisoner Aziz Awisat dies in custody

By Annelies Verbeek - May 28, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [prisoners] [Israeli Prison Service]

Palestinian prisoner Khalid Awisat died in Assaf Haroufeh Hospital, close to Tel Aviv, on May 20. 

The 53-year-old from the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal Al Mukaber had suffered a stroke 12 days earlier in the prisoners clinic of Ramleh. He was then transferred to the hospital where he died as a result of multiple organ failure, his lawyer Khalid Mahajneh stated.
Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer released a statement saying the Israeli forces “bear full responsibility for Awisat’s death.” Issa Qaraqe, head of the Prisoners' Affairs Committee, accused the Israeli authorities of killing the prisoner, and demanded an international investigation into the crime.
Awisat was sentenced to 30 years of prison, four years ago. He was sentenced for trying to blow up a gas pipeline leading to the settlement of Armon Hanatzif, built on Jabal Al Mukaber land. He already suffered from a heart condition upon the time of his arrest.
On 2 May, Awisat was beaten and sent to solitary confinement after pouring boiling water over a prison guard.
Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Authority Prisoners Affairs Committee has called on an international investigation into Iwasat’s death, saying that the prisoner was 'beaten to death.’
Palestinian prisoner’s rights group Addameer wrote Awisat died as a result of medical neglect. This is “the norm, rather than the exception,” the rights group wrote.
The organisation also said that this year, four Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons. The total number of prisoners who have died in Israeli jails, according to Addameer, is 216. “Among those, 75 died as a result of direct targeting and killing, 72 prisoners died because of torture, and 62 died as a result of medical negligence,” the organisation claimed.
Addameer has long maintained that the Israeli Prison System (IPS) has adopted “a policy of deliberate medical neglect.” The organisation claims IPS does not provide appropriate health care and periodic medical checkups for inmates.
The rights group also affirms Palestinian prisoners’ needs towards personal and public hygiene are systematically neglected. In combination with the fact that many of the prisons are in harsh climates, such as the desert in the south of Israel, and humid areas in the north, results in many of Israel’s prisons not being in line with international standards.
According to Wafa News Agency, several Palestinians demonstrated at Damascus Gate on Sunday May 20 to protest Awisat’s death, saying that it was due to medical negligence. Israeli border police reportedly attacked the protesters with clubs and rubber bullets. 

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