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Prisoner suffering from leukaemia pleads for treatment

Prisoner jailed over bounced cheques in dire need of medical care

Image Credit: Bassma Al Jandaly/Gulf News
Rabina is seeking medical help for her husband Masoud, a leukaemia patient, who is an inmate at Sharjah Central Jail.
04 Gulf News

Dubai: A prisoner suffering from leukaemia is rapidly deteriorating inside Sharjah Central Jail, despite doctor’s recommendations he should be transferred to hospital.

Mohammad Masoud, 47, who has been behind bars for almost two years over bounced cheques, claims his health is worsening each day he doesn’t receive proper treatment for his condition.

Masoud has been living in the UAE for almost 35 years and used to run successful businesses in construction and the restaurant trade, until he lost everything four years ago.

Masoud, from Pakistan, is now fighting for his life in jail while his family is fighting to survive as there is nothing left to support them.

“We have to evacuate our house in two days because we have failed to pay the rent,” Rabina, Masoud’s wife, told Gulf News.

“I’m helpless, I’m worried about my husband’s life. Doctors said he is suffering from blood cancer, his skin is falling off and he needs treatment inside the jail.

“My son and daughter have no one in life except me and my husband.

“He lost all his businesses and money and he has been in jail for almost two years. I’m allowed to see him only during visit times for a few minutes,” she said.

Rabina, who herself suffers from heart problems, said how her husband’s health is very poor, that he needs medication and hospital treatment.

She claims she asked prison wardens to give her husband his medicine but that they show no interest.

Sharjah Central Jail officials said: “He was sent to Dubai for some other bounced cheque cases and now he is back in Sharjah Jail.”

The official said that Masoud was taken to Al Kuwaiti Hospital a few months ago where he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Jail authorities did not clarify why he hasn’t been taken to hospital for further treatment.

“My concern is my husband’s health. I saw him in jail for a few minutes and he was not able to raise his head or talk.

“I do not know what to do without him. He is not a criminal and the bounced cheques are not his fault.

“I tried to bail him out but failed.

“We have no money even to buy food. My children have their life destroyed and they cannot live without their father.

“My eldest son is not going to school because we have no money while my little daughter was allowed only to finish this year in school,” she said.

Rabina spoke of how she feels she has nowhere left to turn to save her husband and protect her children.

“I have no place to go once I leave this place.

“I am living in shared accommodation with another family. We left our house when my husband went to jail and we shifted here.

“My son cries day and night asking me to help him and his father.”

Rabina, whose son is 17 and daughter is 12, is herself suffering from heart disease. According to medical reports the left artery of her heart is blocked.

She said: “I stopped my medication for my heart because I cannot afford to buy medicine.

“My life is ruined but I’m praying day and night to save my husband’s life.”

Rabina explained how two years ago one of her husband’s employees cheated him and stole their money before fleeing the country.

“After that my husband’s work started to collapse but he was strong for us.

“He issued cheques,because he didn’t have cash to run his business but everything went wrong.

“My husband ended up in jail.”

Her children are now surviving on the support of some friends.

“People are giving us food and a little money to survive,” Rabina said.

Medical reports seen by Gulf News and issued by Al Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah and Rashid Hospital in Dubai confirm Masoud has been diagnosed with Eosinphilic leukaemia, a rare form of the disease.

The diagnosis states Masoud developed the deadly disease a few months ago, after his imprisonment in Sharjah jail.

The reports also confirm that his condition is worsening during imprisonment as he has not received the treatment he requires.

Tawam Hospital in Al Ain is a specialist centre for cancer treatment.

Leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow.