Palestinians say prisoner dies in PA custody

Ayman Samara was being held in Jericho jail on charges of assault

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of a police officer holding a pair of handcuffs. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a police officer holding a pair of handcuffs. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

A Palestinian prisoner died Friday in custody in the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported on Friday evening, less than a week after the death of another prisoner, Arafat Jaradat, at Israel’s Megiddo Prison.

Citing a senior Palestinian official, the news agency said the prisoner, 40-year-old Ayman Mohammad Sharif Samara, was arrested Friday on charges of assault and detained in a Palestinian Authority prison in the West Bank city of Jericho, where he resides.

Ma’an quoted Palestinian Authority Attorney-General Muhammad Abdul-Ghani al-Uweiwi as saying that Samara had not been tortured in custody.

However, he had reportedly been suffering from diabetes, hypertension and other conditions at the time of his arrest, and was transferred from the prison to a local hospital shortly before his death.

The report quoted al-Uweiwi as saying that the results of the autopsy would be released to the public. He added that the Palestinian authorities were investigating the incident.

Last Saturday, a Palestinian prisoner named Arafat Jaradat died of what Israeli officials said was a heart attack while imprisoned at Megiddo Prison, but the Palestinian Authority was quick to lay the blame at Israel’s feet, following the report of a Palestinian pathologist who attended the Sunday autopsy and claimed Jaradat had been tortured to death.

According to Israeli pathologists later in the week, the preliminary results of Jaradat’s autopsy revealed no signs of violence or poisoning. 

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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