Bassam al-Sayeh is the Third Palestinian Prisoner who Dies in Israeli Prisons in 2019

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09 September 2019

On 8 September 2019, Palestinian prisoner and journalist Bassam al-Sayeh died in prison. 

Bassam was arrested on 8 October 2015 from Salem military court when he was attending his wife's court session. Bassam was suffering from bones and blood cancer, a weakness in his heart muscles and medical complications in his liver. Despite of his medical situation the Israeli occupation forces transferred him to Petah Tikva interrogation center, at that time Bassam informed Addameer's lawyer during a visit that he was interrogated daily for long hours, he also informed the lawyer that he fainted and lost his consensus several times during the interrogation sessions and in the cell he was kept in. He was left for around 20 days without any medical care or treatment which led to a serious deterioration in his health.  

Due to torture, medical negligence, and stalling in giving him the medical care he needed, his health deteriorated and led to 80% failure in his heart and inability to move or speak. Still, he was detained waiting a trail until his death was announced. 

With al-Sayeh's death, the number of prisoners who died become (221) prisoners since 1967. Three out of those prisoner died in 2019. Faris Baroud (51 years old) who spent 28 year in prison including 17 in isolation and he died because of medical negligence. Nassar Taqatqa who died due to torture and the difficult circumstances he suffered from during interrogations. 

With Bassam's death, the number of withheld bodies of Palestinian prisoners becomes five out of 52 Palestinian bodies since 2015. Those five prisoners are Aziz Ewisat, Saleh al-Barghouthi, Faris Baroud, Nassar Taqatqa and Bassam al-Sayeh.

The number of sick prisoners is around 750 and they suffer from different illnesses. Addameer's documentations shows that there are around 26 female prisoner who suffers sickness and around 160 make prisoner who is in need of constant medical care. Several of those prisoners had their medical files closed with the argument that there are no treatments from their medical situations.

Prisoner Sami Abu Diak is one of those many medical cases in Israeli prisons who suffer medical negligence. This prisoner suffered from the delay in giving a diagnosis to his case, even though he was not sick but injured when he got arrested. At the beginning when Sami started suffering severe pain in his stomach he was only given pain killers. Even after he was transferred to a hospital he suffered from a medical flaw during the surgery which led him to go into a long comma.

Medical negligence have become a systematic Israeli policy used against Palestinian prisoners which should force international bodies including the ICRC and WHO to pressure towards holding the Israeli authorities accountable to their crimes.