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Press Release: Al Mezan calls for an investigation into the death of a detainee in Gaza's Ansar Prison

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13 June 2022 |Reference 33/2022

Around 6:50 pm, on Sunday, 11 June 2022, Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital pronounced dead detainee Nawwaf Ali al-Hasanat, 44, a resident of al-Shouka village in Rafah, while detained in Ansar Prison, following a deterioration in his health condition. The forensic medicine department at al-Shifa Hospital declared the cause of death was heart failure.


According to Al Mezan’s investigation, al-Hasanat was arrested on 1 November 2021 on criminal charges. On 2 November 2021, He was transferred from the Rafah Police Center to Ansar Prison. Since then, the Military Prosecution extended his detention several times.


According to the information provided by al-Hasanat’s relatives, they submitted several requests to the Prison administration to obtain a home leave for al-Hasanat. On 8 June 2022, they were informed that their request was approved, and that al-Hasanat would be released under the guarantee of seven of his relatives. The detainee’s relatives gave their IDs to the police on the same day. On Thursday, 9 June 2022, they informed that al-Hasanat was in the intensive care unit at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, only to be declared dead on Saturday, 11 June 2022.


Al Mezan regrets the death of al-Hasanat and emphasizes the obligation of detention centers to conduct regular medical examinations for detainees and to adopt appropriate procedures promptly when they notice any deterioration in the health conditions of detainees, in compliance with Article 15 of the Correction and Rehabilitation Centers Law No. 6 of 1998, which stipulates “a sick inmate shall be referred immediately to a hospital if his condition requires so”. As per article 16 of the same Law, “[t]he [center’s] Director, or his or her designee, shall immediately notify the Public Prosecutor’s Office or any competent authority of the death of an inmate, whether he suddenly passed away or died as a result of an accident or of a serious injury, as well as of all crime perpetrated by inmates or against them detainees or all serious incidents of any kind.”


Al Mezan calls on the relevant authorities to launch a swift and thorough investigation into the incident. Al Mezan reiterates that every death in custody must be investigated promptly, thoroughly, and impartially in accordance with the law and that the results must be properly shared with the public.