Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, ordered on Saturday a probe into the death of Majdi Al Barghouthi, who was detained by the Palestinian Security Forces and died in a Ramallah Hospital after suffering from a heart attack during interrogation. Abbas ordered the General Prosecutor to probe the incident and inform him of the results as soon as possible.
The president also expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.
Al Barghouthi died on Friday evening at age 44. He was arrested by the Palestinian Security on February 14, 2008. Prior to his arrest, Al Barghouthi suffered from a heart condition.
A statement released by the Palestinian Security revealed that Al Barghouthi complained on Wednesday from pain in his abdomen and was moved to Khalil Hospital in Ramallah where he was examined and the doctors decided that he did not need hospitalization.
On Friday evening, Al Barghouthi complained from acute pain in his chest and was moved to Khalid hospital where he died ,apparently of a heart attack. His body was moved to Abu Kbeer forensic center in Abu Dis town, east of Jerusalem.
The center decided that the cause of death was natural, as the patient suffered from a heart condition.
The Al Haq human rights organization issued a statement revealing that Palestinian Authority interrogations of abducted Palestinians do not respect the health conditions of the detained residents, including subjecting some of them to inhuman treatment.
The organization added that Al Barghouthi was detained for more than 24 hours without being charged, which violates articles number 34 and 117 of the Palestinian law which states that the detainee should be released if there is no cause for continued detention, or should be charged within 24 hours after his arrest.
The Al Haq Center also stated that the general prosecutor should have toured the interrogation center in order to ensure that no violations are being carried out.
The organization also sent letters to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior informing them that there are several residents who have been detained by the Palestinian Preventive Security for more than one month and are still under interrogation without any charges filed against them.
The Hamas movement said that Barghouthi was hospitalized for a short period and was immediately moved to prison where he was placed under interrogation without any consideration of his health conditions.
The movement added that clear marks of torture were apparent on the body of Al Barghouthi.
Meanwhile, media sources close to the Hamas movement published the names of twelve Palestinian political prisoners who died in Palestinian prisons since the Palestinian Authority was established following the Oslo agreement in 1994.
The sources stated that the first case occurred in July 1994 when resident Farid Jarboa’, 28, died in a Palestinian prison. Two died in 1998 and 1999; they were identified as Nasser Al Haroub, 28, Mohammad Al Qawasmi, 45.
Eight prisoners died in the period between 2000 and 2001; they were identified as Khalid Bahar, 35, Salim Al Aqra’, 37, Suleiman Abu Amra, 38, Khalid Al Akka, 24, Imad Al Barza, 30, Ala’ Ed Deen Wahba, 41, Ayman Hallas, 36, and Husam Al Hassy.