from RUSSELL ADADEVOH in Accra, Ghana
ACCRA, (CAJ News) – THE imprisonment of a heavily pregnant Ghanaian woman in Israel has sparked outrage in her home country and among human rights groups.
Josephine Kwabiwaa (32) has been placed in isolation for four months after her refusal to test for tuberculosis (TB).
She is afraid the tests, which would include X-rays and involve radiation, could affect her pregnancy.
The Israel Prison Service has come under criticism for the violation.
Kwabiwaa has reportedly been forced to pay for medical examinations and pregnancy supplements, like folic acid and iron.
“This case shows how the Israel Prison Service violates the rights of prisoners and endangers their health and lives,” said Anat Lidvin, director of Physicians for Human Rights’ Department for Prisoners.
Lidvin said government authorities must transfer the responsibility of medical care for prisoners from the Israel Prison Service to a body that specialises in medicine and can provide treatment in line with accepted standards in the public health system in Israel.
Back home in Ghana, the issue risks sparking a diplomatic tiff after a parliamentarian accused Israel of racism in the treatment of the woman.
“Israel claims to care for Africa but its long history of racism against Africans tells a different story,” the legislator, Ras Mubarak, told media.
The circumstances behind Kwabiwaa’s arrest could not be ascertained but she works in the Middle East country.
Her ordeal has evoked memories of one of the most horrific cases, recorded in 1987.
A pregnant woman miscarried after prison authorities denied her medical treatment after she was interrogated, deprived of sleep and left outdoors in winter.
– CAJ News