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Jerusalem teen suffers medical negligence in Israeli prison

17-year-old Majd Nadir Saida, a former Palestinian prisoner, reveals the scars from being tortured by Israeli forces [file photo]
17-year-old Majd Nadir Saida, a former Palestinian prisoner, reveals the scars from being tortured by Israeli forces [file photo]

A 17-year-old Palestinian boy who was held in an Israeli jail was “on the verge of death” because of the negligence he was subjected to in prison.

Majd Nadir Saida, he was released from jail earlier this week after being detained for over a year, told Ma’an that he was captured on 30 September 2015 when “six undercover Israeli officers attacked me near my house, beating me violently and firing gunshots into the air to prevent anyone from helping me.”

The teen was 15 at the time of his abduction and was taken to Israel’s Oz police station in the Jabal Al-Mukabbir neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem and then to the Russian Compound interrogation centre..

Majd, who is from the Wadi Al-Joz neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, described sustaining bruises and cuts on his head, neck and face during the violent detention.

The teenager was then taken to Israel’s HaSharon prison before being transferred to Givon prison, which he says was a prison for African migrants and asylum seekers who enter Israel without proper documentation.

17-year-old Majd Nadir Saida, a former Palestinian prisoner, and is mother

17-year-old Majd Nadir Saida, a former Palestinian prisoner, with his mother

“The living conditions in Givon prison were very bad and very hard. I stayed there for two months and the wardens used to storm the prisoners’ rooms violently every week for inspection, beating us every time.”

He was then moved to Megiddo prison.

My “tragedy”, he said, started in April 2016 when he began to feel severe abdominal pain which lasted a week. “A doctor at Megiddo prison checked me and gave me standard painkillers. However, pains increased day after day and were more severe than I can describe. One day the doctor checked me and asked me to drink a Coke so he can diagnose the cause of pain.”

“After I drank the Coke at the doctor’s request, I couldn’t sleep due to the severe pains and tiredness I felt.”

The pain became so severe that other prisoners told the guards to bring a doctor. When he was finally asked to come, the doctor did not enter the cell where Majd was being held, instead examining him through the small window in the door.

“He just took my temperature and asked me to drink water.”

An hour later wardens opened his room and moved him to another room with older prisoners. “The next day I was taken to Afula prison hospital in a police vehicle. Both my hands and feet were cuffed.”

Doctors decided that Majd urgently needed surgery on his appendix, saying that it had been left untreated and was perforated “spilling poisonous and infectious material into the abdomen”.

“I stayed 22 days in hospital with both my hands and feet tied. Whenever I needed to go to the toilet, I had to wait half an hour until they obtained approval from the prison manager,” Majd said, pointing out that he also needed approval to take a shower, a process that would take about one hour and required the presence of an officer inside the room while he showered, and another outside.

Majd suffered from severe weight loss and weighed only 37 kilogrammes after his stay in hospital.

His father, Nadir, said that a doctor from the Afula hospital called him for permission to operate on his son, which was the first he heard that his son was sick.

“I asked to go to the hospital myself, but the doctor told me that if I don’t approve the surgery I would see my son as a dead body, so I approved the surgery on the phone,” Nidal said.

Maajd’s mother and uncle were able to visit him after the surgery and stay with him for an hour, his father said, highlighting that the two had to wait for hours before being allowed to see Majd.

“I visited him three times at Afula hospital, once every week,” Majd’s mother said, adding that Israeli officers prevented her from actually touching or getting close to her son.

Rights groups have widely condemned Israel for its medical negligence of Palestinians in its prisons, which Addameer has called a “deliberate policy of neglect.”

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