Palestinian ex-prisoner succumbs to disease caught in Israeli jail

Hebron/PNN/

Former Palestinian prisoner Naim Shawamreh, who developed muscular dystrophy while serving his sentence in Israeli jails, has succumbed to his illness three years after he was released. The Prisoners’ and Ex-Prisoners’ Committee said Shawamreh’s death was the result of Israeli medical negligence in prison.

The committee’s director Issa Qaraqe urged the international community to seriously work on halting such preplanned Israeli crimes against Palestinian detainees. “Israel’s murder policies have reached intolerable levels in prisons, where illnesses have swiftly spread among the detainees,” he said. “We’ve frequently encountered detainees who spend the last days of their lives in hospitals without returning to their homes.”

Qaraqe called for the need to file a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court at the soonest time possible so as to impeach Israeli criminals for their crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Center for the Defense of Freedoms and Civil Rights (Hurriyat) held the Israeli occupation government, prison service, and medics accountable for the death of Shawamreh. A statement by Hurriyat said Shawamreh’s death sounds the alarm over the death risks run by sick detainees in Israeli lock-ups.

Naim Shawamreh, 46, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1995. He was released in 2013 after serving nearly 19 years in prison, following negotiations.

Meanwhile, European MPs joined a rally staged by dozens of Palestinian protesters and activists in Ramallah city, holding the Israeli occupation authorities responsible for Shawamreh’s death. Former Greek MP Zoe Konstantopoulou said she will work, along with her Irish and Icelandic fellows, to transmit the true tragedy endured by the Palestinians to their countries. She added that contacts have been underway to mobilize solidarity with the Palestinian detainees.

“Naim died as a result of the deliberate medical negligence in Israeli prisons,” a rally-goer said. “He would not have got to this point if he had been taken care of. The protesters further expressed their support for prisoner Bilal Kayed, on hunger strike for the 68th consecutive day in protest at being held administratively, without trial, in Israeli jails.