"My brother is dying": an urgent appeal from family of hunger striker Samer Issawi
17 December 2012
On Sunday I phoned his sister Shireen. “Save Samer, he is dying,” was the first thing she said. Samer had gone without food for 138 days.
“The last news we got was on 14 December when the Israeli occupation court refused to release Samer on bail. I have received news from different sources indicating that my brother has recently started suffering from severe pain in all of his body especially in his muscles, abdomen and kidneys.
“He has an acute vitamin B-12 deficiency. His body has begun to eat his muscles and nerves. It seems he has lost the control of his limbs as a result of malfunction of the nerves. His vision is frail as a result of fainting four to five times a day and his body is covered with bruises. He is vomiting blood, his heart is weakening and he can barely breathe.”
I asked Shireen: “When have you seen your brother?”
“Like a skeleton”
“No one has met or spoken to him since his current arrest. I have seen him on Thursday [13 December] when he appeared in court. He looked like a skeleton sitting in a wheelchair, and he can’t move or walk. My brother was put in the slaughterhouse of Ramleh Prison Hospital during his first month of the strike. A month later he was put in a small cell as a punishment. He suffered the solitary confinement in a two-meter square room, meant to pressure him to end his strike.”
“Where is he now?” I asked.
“He is still in a small dark room in Assaf Harofeh hospital. He is kept in isolation; no one can see him, not even his loved ones. The only human contact he has is the guards, who misleadingly wear white uniforms. His legs are tied with shackles that look even bigger now against his tiny skeleton.”
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