Palestinian police in the West Bank city of Hebron have arrested a man for locking up his mentally challenged brother in a barn under his residence for the past 25 years.
Anonymous people tipped off the Colonel Mohammad Tayem who heads Hebron Police Division on the case of the mentally ill Palestinian, which led to the police force conducting a raid, finding the victim and subsequently releasing him from captivity. Police investigators arrested the victim’s brother and summoned other family members for further investigations.
According to a police statement, the victim, 36, was ascertained to be a mentally ill and was found shackled at his feet with chains, entirely covered with dirt and trash. Preliminary investigation results showed that the victim had been locked by his family members in the barn for the past 25 years.
Hebron Police summoned officials from the Social Affairs Department, as per the usual procedure when it comes to dealing with the mentally ill.
A senior social affairs official who requested to remain unnamed as the official is not allowed to speak to the media said that the victim was from Al Samou’e village near Hebron and that the Yatta Social Affairs Department has been instructed to handle his case.
The official said that nobody had been there to support the victim, adding that he proved to be an aggressive patient as mental illness may increase the likelihood of committing violence. The official said that the department admitted the victim to Aliah Hospital in Hebron where his physical fitness test proved that he was fit. The official said that the mental illness hospital in Bethlehem refused admission and the department is about to hire a nurse to look after him, stressing that the right person to look after him must be a medically trained professional.
By Nasouh Nazzal
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