IPS acknowledges its obligation to maintain and supply full medical records for prisoners in its custody only after HaMoked petitions court המוקד להגנת הפרט
IPS acknowledges its obligation to maintain and supply full medical records for prisoners in its custody only after HaMoked petitions court
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Over the course of June and July 2009, HaMoked sent complaints to various officials regarding inappropriate treatment of Palestinians held by the Israel Prison Service (IPS). The complainants were apprehended by security forces in late 2008 and early 2009 and transferred to the IPS-controlled detention and interrogation facility in Petah Tikva.

One of the officials HaMoked contacted was the IPS Chief Medical Officer. The officer was asked to supply the complainants’ medical records. In the negotiations that followed, HaMoked was asked to provide the reason it was asking for the files. The records were ultimately supplied nine months after the requests on behalf of the 17 complainants were made. Only one of the files received included the full medical records, as required by law. The remaining files contained no information from the relevant period of time, or from the time the complainants were in the custody of the army, immediately after their arrest (although, information received from the army indicated that medical records from this time had been transferred to the IPS). With the exception of one case, the medical records received from the Petah Tikva facility were incomplete.

Given this result, on June 16, 2010, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice with a demand to receive the full medical records. In the petition, HaMoked argued that the provision of incomplete medical records that did not contain information regarding the full scope of medical treatment received by the complainants during the relevant period of time defied both the letter and the spirit of the law. HaMoked added that the absence of medical information from the time in which the complainants were held in an interrogation facility where they alleged they had received humiliating treatment raised some questions.

In its April 17, 2011 response, the State claimed that the IPS had provided the complainants with the full medical records. The State took the view that the IPS was under no obligation to supplement missing records that were not supplied when a given prisoner was transferred into IPS custody from another agency.

Following a hearing during which the Court emphasized that the IPS did have a responsibility to make sure it had full medical records for people in its custody, HaMoked agreed to withdraw the petition. The IPS argued that as a rule, a prisoner arrives at the IPS along with his medical file from previous detention facilities. The IPS said that when this is not the case, it asks the relevant agency for explanations. HaMoked reserved the right to return to the Court should it become evident that the IPS fails to follow this procedure.
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