A Jordanian prisoner died in Swaqa prison, south of the Jordanian capital, Amman. The incident is the second of its kind in three weeks.
The unidentified prisoner was transferred to Al-Bashir Governmental Hospital, and held in the intensive care unit, after suffering sudden and serious lung failure.
On June 9, several Jordanian detainees declared a hunger strike in Swaqa prison after an inmate died of poor detention conditions and deliberate medical negligence.
In an open letter to the Jordanian Prime Minister, Minister of Interior, and Director of Public Security; the striking prisoners on hunger strike said that systematic abuse, killing, and medical negligence led to the death of prisoner Anas Ibrahim Thalji.
The letter pointed out that “Thalji was illegally held in solitary confinement, without taking into account his difficult health condition, as he suffers from many health problems, including a heart disease.
“Anas Thalji waged several hunger strikes, demanding an end to his solitary confinement. However, the prison director, Ghazi Al-Raoud, refused his release and told him: You will not get out of solitary confinement even if you die,” the prisoners wrote in the letter.
“Anas also appealed to the head of the Preventive Security, Saad Thuneibat, to end his isolation. But he colluded with the prison director to keep him in the solitary confinement.”
“Therefore, we demand to meet with the following bodies: the Parliamentary Freedoms Committee, the Public Prosecutor for Police Rights, the Red Cross Organization, and the Humana rights organization.”
On June 7, the Jordanian prisoner, Anas Ibrahim Thalji, died in Swaqa prison after suffering a severe heart attack due to the medical negligence and poor detention conditions he was subjected to.
Well-informed sources told the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK that Thalji was held in solitary confinement for 40 days till he breathed his last in total disregard to his difficult health situation as he suffers from chronic diseases, including weak heart muscle, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Thalji had declared a hunger strike for 10 days to protest against his difficult detention condition. He suspended the strike only two days before his death after a serious health deterioration. Thalji was promised to be taken to the hospital if he would end his strike. However, he was transferred to the hospital after two days in a very critical condition.
Thalji’s family had submitted complaints to the prison administration, the National Center for Human Rights, and a number of lawyers, demanding an end to his solitary confinement based on health grounds. But no response was received in the matter.
Prisoners have unalienable rights conferred upon them by international treaties and covenants, have a right to health care, and most certainly have a right not to contract disease in prison.
Thalji’s death constitutes a flagrant violation of his basic human rights, and highlights the poor detention conditions and medical negligence policy in Jordan.