Days after being released from restraints, a Palestinian security detainee who has just ended a hunger strike has been shackled to his hospital bed again, on the instruction of the Israel Prison Service and with the hospital’s consent.
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Khader Adnan was hospitalized against his will at Assaf Harofeh Hospital, Tzrifin, nearly a month ago. He was shackled to his bed, despite protests from the Red Cross, his lawyer and Physicians for Human Rights. He was unshackled last Saturday after agreeing to end his 55-day hunger strike, following an agreement to release him on July 12.
However, on Monday morning Adnan was again shackled to his bed by the foot.
Dr. Rafik Masalha, of Physicians for Human Rights, visited Adnan on Tuesday morning, with the prison service’s consent. During his visit, the shackles binding Adnan’s leg to the bed were removed. Masalha left the room for an hour. When he returned, though, he found the patient’s leg bound to the bed again.
Masalha told Haaretz he had heard from one of the wardens that Adnan’s arm may also be shackled to the bed in coming days.
The hospital said in response that Adnan has not been restrained while being examined and receiving medical treatment. It referred questions with regard to shackling outside the framework of medical treatment to the Israel Prison Service.
A spokesperson for the IPS confirmed that Adnan has been restrained again in accordance with regulations and the state of his health.
Adnan had been bound to his bed 24 hours a day since June 5. Two prison service guards are stationed inside his room and another one outside, around the clock.
Last week, the shackles were removed from his arm. The shackles from his leg were removed only on Saturday after his condition deteriorated. The Physicians for Human Rights NGO said Adnan’s binding constituted a serious violation of medical ethics.
Masalha said the hospital had inserted an infusion pipe into Adnan’s left arm because of the pains caused to his right arm by almost a month in shackles. Adnan told Masalha the binding also prevented him from praying.
Adnan is very weak after his hunger strike and suffers from various complications because of the long period of lying down, as well as backaches and serious constipation, Masalha noted. He has begun to eat light food and is taking liquids and medicine intravenously.
The Israeli authorities have not brought any charges against Adnan, who has been held in detention without trial repeatedly since 1999.
According to the law, a prisoner must not be shackled in a public place unless there is risk of his fleeing, causing damage to body or property, or damaging evidence. Despite Adnan’s condition, both the hospital and prison service insisted the shackling was in keeping with regulations.