Tel Aviv Hospital Under Fire for Forcibly Hospitalizing Eritrean Mom in Psychiatric Ward | haaretz
Tel Aviv hospital admitted asylum-seeking woman, a victim of human trafficking, to mental health center even though she couldn’t speak Hebrew and was with 1.5-year-old son at the time
An Eritrean victim of human trafficking was separated from her toddler son and forcibly admitted to a psychiatric hospital in central Israel earlier this month, despite alleged difficulties communicating with her and doubts about her actual mental state.
The asylum seeker was kept in Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Bat Yam, for a week and a half. She was ultimately released before her case was even heard, following a petition to the local district court.
The woman had gone to a Tel Aviv police station about two weeks ago to complain about threats from her husband. While at the police station, her 1.5-year-old son fell and hit his head, and they were taken to the city’s Ichilov Hospital. She explained he had fallen from a chair while she was at the police station. However, the hospital claimed she had dropped her son, although there was no mention of this in the police report.
At Ichilov’s request, the district psychiatrist ordered the woman be forcibly hospitalized and separated her from her son, who is still nursing.
Ichilov wrote that the woman was in a severe psychotic state and was a danger to both herself and her child. But they noted they couldn’t really judge her condition because of the language problem, since she speaks only Tigrinya. They were unaware of her background – that she was raped in Sinai’s torture camps.
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