The young communist Omar Sa’ad, a Druze conscientious objector, who is currently serving his seventh prison term for refusing to join the Israeli army, was hospitalized in Haifa last week with a liver infection. According to “Al Ittihad” communist daily newspaper, two military policemen are currently guarding Sa’ad’s hospital room “so that he does not escape.”
On Saturday, while he was still undergoing treatments, military police personnel arrived at the hospital and asked to transfer Sa’ad to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. Both the family and the hospital staff opposed the transfer, which they viewed as an opportunistic maneuver with no medical justification. In the end, Omar was allowed to remain in Haifa’s Bnei Zion Hospital.
Sa’ad, who served 150 days in military jail had been complaining of chest pains and tremors for three days before his hospitalization. Omar told his father that the prison guards at Prison 4 ignored his complaints, thinking he was pretending or exaggerating. Omar was then transferred to Prison 6, where it was decided to move him to a military medical clinic. There, a doctor decided that he must be immediately moved to the emergency room. Omar was hospitalized in the internal ward after doctors stated that his liver was on the verge of collapse. His father has no doubt that the conditions of Prison 4 led to his son’s condition. After visiting Omar in prison for the first time (his previous sentences were served in Prison 6), Zaharaldin Sa’ad was shocked by the stench and the look of the place. “Omar went into prison a healthy person, a musician, an athlete, this is how he came out,” said. Dozens of Communist Party of Israel members and peace activists protested for the conscientious objector’s release from prison outside the hospital Saturday night.
Another conscience objector, the Argentinean born and social activist from Beer-Sheva, Uriel Ferrera, was sentenced last week to his first prison term of 20 days, and 8 more were added while he was in prison. Sa’ad and Ferrera are both being jailed for their refusal to join the military and participate in the oppression of the Palestinian people.
A support vigil will take place this Thursday, May 8, 2014, at 6PM in front of the ministry of defense in Tel Aviv (Hakirya), at Kaplan Street. The protest will be held by the Arab Druze initiative committee, the refusers letter of 2014, New Profile and Yesh Gvul Movement.