Republican prisoner Davy Jordan has described the prison treatment of fellow Maghaberry internee and heart-attack victim Dr Issam Hijjawi Bassalat as “tantamount to attempted murder”.
Last week, Dr Hijjawi, a Palestinian activist, was forced to wait six hours to receive attention for a heart attack. He has since had stents inserted and been informed that part of his heart muscles are dead following the attack.
The Edinburgh-based doctor (pictured) was arrested in 2020 in County Tyrone following an MI5 ‘sting’ operation at a meeting organised by an MI5 spy.
Mr Jordan condemned as “nauseating” the Palestinian doctor’s treatment during the so-called ‘prisoners week’ of the Stormont Department of Justice.
Dr Hijjawi almost died from neglect in the same week as Alliance Party leader Naomi Long and prisons chief Ronnie Armour took part in a prayer service for prisoners at Clonard Monastery in the heart of west Belfast.
“This spectacle becomes even more sickening when facts emerged that Dr Issam was left in extreme agony, allowed to lay in unbearable pain, locked in his cell as the illegal occupation’s ‘NIPS’ deployed dogs outside his cell without having consulted with their supervisors about what to do,” Mr Jordan said.
“Dr Issam had to suffer six hours of life-threatening pain as the illegal occupations gaolers debated what to do, some even suggesting to Dr Issam that the unbearable pain that he was so clearly experiencing was a result of the medication that he has been taking.
“It is evident that the decision that could have cost Dr Issam’s life and in fact has resulted in some of his very heart muscles dying was being deferred to those whose political bias overrides someone’s very life.
“There is no doubt that the shadowy, unaccountable, discredited MI5 was informed and it was only when they gave approval was Dr Issam moved to an outside hospital despite the clear and present danger to his life.”
A bail application for the NHS doctor has been adjourned for further medical reports.