The Israeli Embassy in Ghana has responded to a viral news report about the detention of a pregnant Ghanaian woman in Israel.
Last week, the news about the isolation of 32-year-old Josephine Kwabiwaa in an Israeli prison made the headlines because she was, according to one report “heavily pregnant.”
The reports suggested that Israel was violating both the United Nations and the World Medical Association’s directives on holding pregnant women in isolation.
The detention is in violation of the World Medical Association and the United Nations’ directive which says holding a pregnant woman in isolation could severely hurt their physical and mental health and potentially harm the fetus.
When Myjoyonline.com contacted the Embassy on the matter, it responded with the following explanation:
“Ms Josephine Kwabiwaa is a Ghanaian citizen who has been illegally living in Israel since March 2013. The notice of her illegal stay in Israel reached the Israeli authorities who have been working accordingly with the Embassy of Ghana in Israel to send her back to Ghana.
“Israel and Ghana are working in cooperation and coordination to attend the Ghanian citizens staying illegally in Israel.”
Ms Kwabiwaa has been in isolation for four months because she has allegedly refused to get tested for tuberculosis, according to some media outlets that reported the story. The Israeli Embassy did not respond to this claim in the news report in their response to Myjoyonline.com.
It is a requirement for prisoners who come from African nations to take the TB test, according to Israeli news media who also reported the story.
According to the reports, Ms Kwabiwaa refused to take the TB test as part of the requirement for her stay in the Israeli prison because she fears that radiation from the equipment used for the test could affect her pregnancy.
The issue has since sparked some criticisms against Israeli authorities with many, including Minority Chief whip Muntaka Mubarak calling for the country’s Ambassador to Ghana to be summoned over the allegation.
Another legislator, Ras Mubarak, says the treatment being meted out to the young pregnant lady, if true, is the worst form of inhuman treatment any vulnerable person could be subjected to.
He called on the Ghanaian Ambassador to Israel, Mrs Hannah Ama Nyarko, to with immediate effect, visit the said woman and aid her immediate release.