[News] 90-Year-Old Palestinian Prisoner Dies Cuffed to His Hospital Bed

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Fri Apr 22 09:00:36 EDT 2005


http://www.aljazeerah.info/20%20n/Abu%20Hassan,%2090-Year-Old%20Palestinian%20Prisoner%20Dies%20Cuffed%20to%20His%20Hospital%20Bed.htm
Abu Hassan, 90-Year-Old Palestinian Prisoner Dies Cuffed to His Hospital Bed

GAZA, April 20, 2005 (IPC + Agencies) - -

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed yesterday that Mohammed Abu Hadwan, 
a 90-year-old Palestinian prisoner, died on his hospital bed after 
suffering serious breathing problems, while being cuffed to his bed.

Abu Hadwan was imprisoned in 1985 after receiving a life sentence (99 
years) for injuring an Israeli citizen in an explosion resulting from an 
explosive charge he had planted. He was a member of Fateh movement and was 
transferred to Nafha prison, then to Asqalan.

His friends and cell mates said he was a very quiet prisoner who always 
used to sit by the prison library, where another prisoner would make him 
tea or coffee and chat with him on books.

They also remembered that Abu Hadwan suffered serious breathing problems, 
and that he would be the first among the prisoners to be released due to 
his old age and poor health condition. However, after the Israeli prison 
administration moved the library to the criminal prisoners' section, Abu 
Hadwan was transferred to the prison's infirmary.

Doctors diagnosed his condition as an advanced lung cancer, and he spent 
the last seven of his 95 years on the hospital bed. His family was informed 
of the diagnosis only four days before his death, according to his fellow 
prisoners.

As for visitations, Abu Hadwan's wife, Um Hassan, and his children came 
once every two months to visit him, after hardly acquiring a permit from 
the Israeli authorities. Visits usually took place behind two thick 
windows, during which Um Hassan witnessed how he was moved around on a 
wheel chair.

Three years ago, the Israeli Prison Services revoked all visiting 
permissions for children under 10 years old, only because -according to 
their claims- one of them attempted to smuggle a cellular phone, thus 
depriving Abu Hadwan from seeing his grandchildren forever.

Even in his final years in hospital, Abu Hadwan couldn't hold or kiss his 
grandchildren, as the Israeli curfew remained effective in hospitals. In 
Mid-October, 2004, and after waiting to visit him for several hours after 
two months, Um Hassan was not able to see her husband, being told that he 
wasn't there and might have been taken to court.

Also, when she managed to finally see him, the guards on the hospital 
prevented Um Hassan and her son, Hassan, from entering the room together; 
allowing them only to enter separately.

"Hassan went first, and after 15 minutes he still didn't come out. He went 
to prepare me for the shock, but he couldn't handle the scene of his father 
on his bed," Um Hassan reminisced painfully.

She continued with tears, "when I entered, I saw my husband cuffed from his 
hands and legs to his bed like a sheep waiting for slaughter. He was 
wearing a diaper and moaning? I didn't recognize him in the beginning."

"Is that you, Abu Hassan?," she whispered in his ear. "there were so many 
tubes connected to his frail body, running in and out of his nose and arms."

Only after screaming and crying out on the guards with her son, they agreed 
to remove his cuffs, and only then when Abu Hadwan opened his weak eyes and 
whispered his last words to his wife? "Um Hassan," he said.


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