[The following press release was released via social media concerning the imrisonment and deteriorating health of Sami Ab Diak.]
“I call upon your consciences, to tell you that I am now living my last days or even hours. I am asking for one last wish, which is to live these last moments of my life with my mother, relatives and loved ones. I do not want to pass away while handcuffed in front of a jailor who enjoys seeing us [detainees] suffering. Will anyone respond?” —Sami Abu Diak
The Palestinian detainee Sami Abu-Diak, 37 years old, who is facing severe deterioration of his health and imminent death due to deliberate medical negligence by Israeli occupation authorities. Abu Diak was detained seventeen years ago, and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences in addition to thirty years by an Israeli military court, which is designed and operated to ensure unfair and discriminatory persecution of Palestinian detainees. Abu Diak is currently suffering from advanced stages of bowel cancer, as well as renal and pulmonary failure. In 2015, he was urgently transferred to Israel’s Soroka Medical Center where he suffered poisoning as a result of misdiagnosis and a medical error. This medical negligence led to the removal of 80cm of his intestines and he was consequently diagnosed with kidney and pulmonary failure.
The Commission of Detainees’ Affairs has urgently requested the Israeli occupation authorities to release Abu Diak considering his dire health condition especially that the most optimistic assessment for his life expectancy is now less than two years. The first two requests were denied by the Israeli occupation authorities after alleging that his health is getting better and that he was responding to treatment. However, the third urgent request for his early release was denied, because criteria for early release allegedly did not apply to Abu Diak’s case.
According to a recent report by Hurryyat Center’s lawyer, who was recently allowed to visit him, Abu Diak’s health condition is worsening as his weight has dropped to 48 kilograms. The report also confirmed that Abu Diak is suffering from severe blood loss and pain but he is only medicated with pain killers in extensive doses, which puts him at risk of coma.
The case of Abu Diak is one example of systematic and deliberate medical negligence carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities. In September 2019, Palestinian detainee Bassam Al-Sayeh died inside an Israeli detention center, of cancer and heart failure as a consequence of such discriminatory policies of medical negligence. Al-Sayeh and Abu Diak both were detained in Al-Ramleh Israeli detention center, a place known amongst Palestinian detainees as a “slaughterhouse” because of the terrible conditions of this center that are not in line with international standards as well as the policy of mistreatment and medical negligence. Palestinian detainees have frequently complained that Israeli occupation authorities disregarded their needs and health care as they give painkillers to ill detainees no matter what their ailment is, even if it was a serious illness such as cancer, hypertension or diabetes.
Abu Diak is facing imminent death. His only request is to be released so he could take his last breath around his family and have a dignified burial in accordance with his traditions and religious customs. Abu Diak is afraid to be forced to face the same fate as other detainees, whose bodies are still withheld by Israeli occupation authorities after dying of medical negligence in Israeli detention centers.