Palestinian journalist Mervat Al-Azza (45 years old) revealed in a video on her personal Facebook account that she was sexually harassed by an x-ray technician in a hospital in Bethlehem last month.
Al-Azza released a 24-minute video on April 14, detailing how she was involved in a traffic accident on the second of last March, and was transferred to a private hospital in the city of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, after she was completely shattered in the wrist and hand bone. She was surprised by the x-ray technician, who was under the shock of her car accident, harassing her, placing his hands on her chest more than once.
This is the first time that a Palestinian woman has talked about being sexually harassed in a video on social media. It is customary for a woman to choose silence when she is attacked because of the customs of society and the family that give weight to the scandal at the expense of the victim.
Al-Azza indicated that she started screaming after she discovered that what he was doing was not for the purpose of medical imaging, but rather harassment, so the hospital director and then the security men shouted at her.
Al-Azza was discharged from the private hospital in Bethlehem to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, and she insisted that she write what happened with her on the same night, and her son took over writing the complaint and sent it with her friend to the Ministry of Health. "She underwent several surgeries and a platinum implant in the hand," she says. On March 13, I went to the Public Prosecution Office and filed a written complaint there, but I was surprised by the prosecutor asking me: Do your family agree to file this complaint?
She says that on March 27, there was an investigation committee in the private hospital where the crime took place, and the journalist questioned the committee, which did not give her any copy of her report that was sent to the Public Prosecution Office, while the pressure remained on her to withdraw the complaint.
The committee presented the results of its work and recommendations to the Palestinian Minister of Health, as well as the Palestinian Public Prosecution Office and the Independent Commission for Human Rights who received a copy, each, of these results and recommendations.
The assaulted woman posted a video clip on her Facebook page on April 14, 2023.
In the video, the woman recounted the details of what happened with her inside the hospital, in addition to what happened during her interview by the investigation committee formed by the Minister of Health. The complainant's speech in the video included questioning the committee, its integrity, and its results.
In its statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Health set up as soon as possible a neutral commission of inquiry, including a syndicate of journalists (as the complainant is a journalist), the Independent Commission for Human Rights, and a civil society organization dealing with women's issues. Rights, to seek the assistance of representatives of the petitioner and representatives of the Radiation Syndicate and of any party the Commission deems appropriate were granted. Its mission is to uphold the dignity, rights and honor of patients and all male and female citizens, both in governmental and private health care facilities, and to ensure that a safe environment exists to ensure their health. We will expose the truth to the Palestinian people, the ministry has said.
Edited by : Ritaja Kar
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