Urgent Alert: Ayman Sharawni, day 129 to the Hunger Strike is still prevented from seeing PHR Israel’s independent doctor.Today is Ayman Sharawni’s 129th day of hunger strike, the longest hunger strike ever reported. His health condition reached extremely critical stages.

He has reported to his lawyer that he was told by the medical staff in the hospital during one of his visits there, that he has developed a kidney problem.

This is in addition to the other medical complications already reported by PHR-Israel’s volunteer doctor when visiting him on September 10th 2012.

The independent doctor reported severe deterioration in Ayman’s health condition, and advanced physical damage. the doctor reported that he suffers from extreme weight loss, muscle weakness, significant decline in gross motor strength and loss of muscle tissue severe dizziness; Daily bleeding in oral cavity; Unable to carry out simple daily activities like showering and other tasks; extreme low blood pressure; slow pulse; blurred vision; suffered from several incidents of dizziness and fainting that caused falling.

Legal Action: Beginning of September 2012 Ayman’s lawyer has submitted her objection to his arrest to the special military committee on September and they still awaits its decision. No date was given to when the decision will be given.
PHR-Israel’s Action:

September 12th: Following the visit by PHR-Israel’s independent doctor, a letter is sent to the IPS (Israeli Prison Service) demanding that the doctor’s recommendations as to the treatment and examinations needed to be taken. The letter stays without any response from the IPS authorities until this day.

September 20th: PHR Israel sends a request that Sharawni will be again visited – for follow up – by its independent doctor.

September 27th: The IPS prisoners’ officer at the IPS medical center, Mr. Nahman Shulkovsky, calls PHR Israel to verify that the request is valid to the three hunger strikers (because at that time 2 – Safadi and Al Burk – had ended the strike).

He is told that the request is still valid for all of them, including of course Sharawni. In the following weeks PHR Israel tries to get Mr. Shulkovsky over the phone without success.

October 14th: Almost a month since first applying for another visit by its independent doctor, PHR Israel addresses the IPS again, demanding that a visit will be confirmed.

October 25th: Since no answer – whether by phone or in writing – is received, PHR Israel sends a letter demanding an immediate answer before going to the courts .

Novebmer 5th: PHR Israel had received no answer. We are currently looking for a lawyer who is willing to take the case pro-bono as our legal budget was exhausted in our long struggle during the hunger strikes.

Of special alert is the fact that the IPS – both its security and medical staff – is extremely hostile in its conduct with PHR Israel’s demand for visits by independent doctors. It seems that due to the IPS’ wish to suppress the hunger strikers’ struggle it is doing anything within its power, including actions that compromise the health of their patients.

To employ its tactics the IPS has more financial and manpower resources than those of the civil society. Its power goes unchecked and unbalanced:

The Ministry of Health and the Israeli Medical Association do not hold the medical staff of the IPS accountable, nor do they see themselves as truly responsible to their conduct, as they claim to have no real authority there.

The staff in the hospitals to which hunger strikers were referred neglect to address the wider picture and suffice in focused treatment of the specific problem indicated by the referring doctor of the IPS.

The courts refused to have a principle ruling to force regular visits by independent doctors and left PHR Israel alone in its struggle to ensure that prisoners’ health rights during the hunger strike are respected.

PHR Israel therefore requests that you shall use any venue accessible to you to demand Israel to immediately allow PHR Israel’s independent doctor to visit Sharawni. At this stage this is our main mission, as his health and life are under extreme danger.

Hadas Ziv

Public Outreach

PHR Israel

For further information please contact:

amany@phr.org.il or hadas@phr.org.il