Freed prisoner re-united with his children after 24 years

Press Release – UFree

Freed prisoner re-united with his children after 24 years – family prepare lawsuit against Israeli occupation UFree exclusive from Gaza City Friday 28.10.2011 Every Palestinian family has experienced the joy of a family member being released from …Freed prisoner re-united with his children after 24 years – family prepare lawsuit against Israeli occupation

UFree exclusive from Gaza City

Friday 28.10.2011

Every Palestinian family has experienced the joy of a family member being released from an Israeli prison, no one more than the family of Aweidah Kollab, released as part of the prisoner exchange after 24 years in prison – 12 of which were in solitary confinement.

Aweidah’s family, from Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood north of Gaza city, were shocked at the extent of psychological damage 12 years in solitary confinement, where he was subjected physical and mental abuse which left him struggling to adjust to life outside prison.

At the age of 48, Aweidah suffers from memory loss after years of mental torture and is unable to have a full meal because his stomach is not accustomed to receive a proportioned meal.

His brother told UFree “My brother has a problem sitting on a chair – he adjusts his body as though he is squatting – after more than a decade in isolation in a tiny space’.

Aweidah’s youngest son was only 40 days old when his father was arrested. Now a grown man with his child, it is the first time he has seen his father – only to find that his dad cannot recognise him.

One of the first things his family did upon his release was admit him to hospital because of the deliberate lack of medical care in Israel’s prisons for Palestinians, equivalent to a policy of slow death

Deliberate medical neglect

Doctors discovered that Aweidah suffered from numerous diseases, including a stomach ulcer and a lean body condition, inflammation of the valve, a hernia in the chest area and a stone in the kidney. He also needs several sessions of massaging of the limbs so he can sit down properly – an ability he lost whilst living in the inhumane conditions in solitary confinement.

The family have been advised to gradually increase his interaction with his children and grandchildren, to help his adjustment to outside life

His brother told UFree how he contacted many organisations, such as the International Red Cross and B’tselem to inform them of Aweidah’s deteriorating health whilst in prison. He was also forcibly moved from one prison to the other where he was subjected to degrading and humiliating treatment.

His family are seeking to file a lawsuit against the Israeli prison administration in international forums, due to the long lasting inhumane treatment of Aweidah.

There are still some 5,300 Palestinians detained in Israeli jails after the release of 477 prisoners and a captive in the first part of the deal.

END.


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