Senior doctors: “Don’t release Samer Arbid into continued ISA interrogation”

Samer Arbid

Physicians for Human Rights report:

In an unusual move, a group of twenty senior physicians, members of PHRI’s board of directors and ethics committee, as well as members of the board of directors of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, has written a letter to the management of Hadassah Hospital urging the institution not to release Samer Arbid for continued ISA interrogation for fear he would be subjected to torture.

The list of signatories includes senior physicians from Hadassah Hospital itself, where Arbid is currently treated, as well as physicians from other hospitals around the country, among them Prof. Rafi Walden, Prof. Bella Kaufman, Prof. Micha Eldar, Dr. Mushira Abu-Dia, Prof. Shaul Dollberg, Prof. Ruth Stalnikowicz, Dr. Bettina Birmanns MD and others.

Arbid has been hospitalized at Hadassah Mount Scopus in Jerusalem since September 29, following an ISA interrogation which allegedly included “special measures”. Over the course of the week, the media reported the ISA was planning to return him to interrogation after a military court judge who presided over his remand hearing reported his medical condition was improving.

In their letter, the physicians remind the hospital of its obligation to safeguard Arbid’s life and health  and adhere to medical ethics with respect to keeping patients in its care safe from torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as enunciated in the Declaration of Tokyo and adopted by the Israel Medical Association.

“Medical staff must actively prevent his return to an interrogation in which the use of ‘special measures’ has reportedly been approved. These measures constitute torture and are apparently the reason Samer Arbid has been taken to hospital in life-threatening condition in the first place”, the letter states. The physicians also demand the hospital prevent any use of its premises for interrogation purposes.

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