My name is Hasan Tamimi.
I became blind in Israeli custody when I was 17.
Due to medical negligence during the detention.
While I had a medical condition affecting my kidneys and liver at the time,
I was arrested for throwing stones.
Even though my mother and family informed the police about my medical condition;
I was denied critical medicines for two months.
When I was detained, my doctor told my mother,
If I am not given medicines,
I may go into a coma,
Or something terrible may happen to me.
I had a medical condition affecting my kidneys and liver.
This required regular medications;
and a strict diet.
The Israeli soldiers denied medications,
Kept saying they are checking them;
for two months.
And was finally taken to the hospital by guards,
When other prisoners protested.
But by then, I had gone into a coma
I remained in a coma for three days,
I eventually lost my eyesight due to nerve damage.
When I woke up,
I couldn't see anything.
My mother was sitting beside me.
I asked my mother,
What is going on?
She told me, you won't be able to see anymore.
Doctors told us this is a permanent loss.
I said to her, ‘trust in God’.
Israeli soldiers mistreated me in the hospital too.
I was handcuffed to the bed.
When I wanted to use the bathroom,
The soldiers wouldn't let me,
They would bring a box for me to urinate,
When I would ask for water,
They would give me a small cup of water,
Which wasn't enough to quench my thirst,
I am home now,
Trying to adjust to life without eyesight,
The blindness has affected my life,
I can't study anymore,
I can't see my family and friends.
I pray to God to restore my eyesight.
This poetic depiction is based on the real-life story of 18-year-old Palestinian youth detainee Hassan Tamimi, who was subjected to medical negligence during his detention by Israeli forces. Hassan was suffering from liver and kidney issues since early childhood. He required a particular diet and treatment; however, Israel did not allow Hassan his medication and he eventually lost his eyesight.
Written by a Canadian activist for prisoners of conscience.
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