An illegal migrant from Darfur has recently suffered a stillbirth, after her please for medical attention while in the Israeli Prison Service detention facility were denied, Ynet learned Wednesday.
Jisma Ibrahim, 20, a Darfur refugee who illegally entered Israel in early June with her husband Halil Mohammad, was seven months pregnant when she was detained by the IDF and sent to the Saharonim detention facility.
While in the facility, Jusma was reportedly denied gynecological treatments. Over a month after being detained, she was rushed to the Soroka Medical Center Beersheba, where she gave birth to a stillborn baby.
The IPS has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the case.
The Lod District Court held a hearing on Ibrahim's refugee status on Wednesday. Judge Avraham Yaakov ordered her release, citing "special humanitarian circumstances."
"I believe the country holds a moral obligation towards the appellant, considering the traumatic experience she went through while being held in an Israeli detention facility," he said.
Ibrahim at the Lod District Court (Photo: Avi Mualem)
Her release was suspended for 48 hours in order to allow the State Prosecution to file an appeal over the ruling.
According to the appeal, Ibrahim's husband, Halil was released from the Saharonim prison due to technical reasons, after authorities failed to deliver him to his arraignment on time.
While in Saharonim prison, Ibrahim claimed to have suffered severe stomach pains; however her plea to see a doctor was met only several weeks later. She said she was instructed to drink water and that she "has nothing to worry about." Shortly afterwards she suffered a stillbirth.
An IPS statement said that Ibrahim was examined by a doctor two days after arriving in Saharonim and that she did not complain of any further medical problem until the day she was rushed to the hospital.
Despite the traumatic experience Ibrahim went through, the Interior Ministry's Custody Court saw no reason to release her.
Ibrahim reportedly went into a deep depression and was transferred to Givon Prison. Authorities feared she would try to harm herself and placed her on suicide watch.
"Is this what Interior Minister Eli Yishai meant when he said he was going to make the lives of asylum seekers miserable?"
Attorney Yael Kats-Mastbaum, who represents the couple, asked.
"The IPS must investigate the reasons that led to this failure. Odds of these kinds of cases occurring again… are extremely high." Kats-Mastbaum told Ynet.
Halil Mohammad (Photo: Avi Mualem)
"It's unlikely that the IPS made due with a gynecological exam of a woman with an advanced pregnancy five weeks after the facility's doctor recommended such an exam," Anat Litvin from Physicians for Human Rights said.
"Unfortunately, we are aware of other case where asylum seekers fail to get the medical attention they need in Saharonim. In some cases – like this one – the results are tragic."
The IPS offered the following comment: "Following this unfortunate incident – and prior to the questions raised in the article – the IPS launched and investigation of the event.
"The inquiry found that the inmate arrived in Saharonim in early June, eight months pregnant. Within two days she was seen by the facility's doctors and according to his request, an appointment was made for her at the Soroka Maternity Ward for mid July."
According to the IPS, "In early July, the woman was rushed to the hospital after complaining of pains, which were soon determined as labor. She then suffered a stillbirth."
The prison service stressed that during the month prior to the incident, Ibrahim did not complain to anyone about her health.
"It is only now, three months after the event that we are hearing of these strange allegations, through the media, and as part of her hearing. We regret the couple's loss, but there is no way the IPS could have prevented it."
Population and Migration Authority spokeswoman Sabine Hadad told Ynet that "Contrary to the allegations, PMA follows the rulings made by the Custody Court. Ibrahim did not file any motion for release, on any grounds, until now."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop