#PalHunger | Hunger-striking soccer player Mahmoud Sarsak briefly hospitalized

Maan News Agency | Updated June 8, 2012

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities transferred a long-term Palestinian hunger-striker to hospital on Thursday after prison health officials expressed concern about his condition, an official said.

Israeli Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said Mahmoud al-Sarsak, who has been on hunger strike for 81 days, was taken to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center on Thursday afternoon.

He was moved upon the advice of doctors at the prison clinic in Ramle who “thought he might need medical care,” Weizman told Ma’an. However, the hospital decided he did not need to be admitted.

On Wednesday, a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights – Israel visited al-Sarsak in Ramle prison clinic after the group petitioned an Israeli court for access.

The doctor, who was not allowed to see al-Sarsak’s full medical file, said the prisoner was at immediate risk of death and must be hospitalized immediately.

Al-Sarsak has experienced extreme weight loss, frequently loses consciousness, suffers memory lapses and is at risk of life-threatening pulse disruptions, the doctor said.

A member of Palestine’s national soccer team, al-Sarsak has been imprisoned in Israel for nearly three years without charge or trial and is demanding his release.

His family have not been allowed to see or speak to him since his arrest in July 2009.


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