[Pnews] Israeli court refuses to release hunger striker on brink of death
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 28 11:44:14 EST 2016
Israeli court refuses to release hunger striker on brink of death
Charlotte Silver <https://electronicintifada.net/people/charlotte-silver>
27 January 2016
Journalist Muhammad al-Qiq
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/muhammad-al-qiq> is to remain in
detention, despite his critical condition after 63 days of hunger strike
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/hunger-strike>, Israel’s highest
Al-Qiq has consumed nothing but water during his two-month protest of
his detention without charge or trial under an administrative detention
issued by an Israeli military court
Jawad Boulos of the Palestinian Prisoners Society said al-Qiq is
partially paralyzed and has trouble speaking. His legal team warned that
his organs are at risk of failure any day.
Israel has refused to negotiate with al-Qiq, Boulos said
<http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.699506>. Instead, Israeli
authorities have tried to pressure
al-Qiq to end his hunger strike by bringing food to his bedside and
denying him access to his lawyer, family and an independent physician.
Al-Qiq’s wife, Fayha Shalash, has been told that her husband’s life is
in real danger <http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.699506>
and he may not survive many more days of hunger strike.
HaEmek hospital, where al-Qiq has been held since late December, has
refused independent examination by a doctor with Physicians for Human
Amany Dayif, director of the group’s prisoner and detainees department,
told The Electronic Intifada.
“That raises a lot of questions, especially in light of al-Qiq’s
statements about being treated against his will,” Dayif said.
On 10 January, prison guards at the civilian hospital shackled al-Qiq to
his bed while a medical team put an IV into his arm to forcibly
administer salts and minerals. The IV remained in his arm for four days,
the Palestinian prisoner advocacy group Addameer
these measures as tantamount to torture.
Addameer stated that any treatment without consent could put al-Qiq’s
life in danger, pointing to the deaths of Palestinian prisoners held by
Israel who were force-fed during a mass hunger strike in 1980.
Al-Qiq, 33, began his hunger strike on 25 November, four days after he
was arrested <http://www.addameer.org/prisoner/mohammad-al-qeiq> in the
middle of the night from his home in the occupied West Bank city of
Initially, al-Qiq stopped eating to protest his brutal interrogation. He
remained on hunger strike when he was placed under administrative
detention on 17 December.
Molly Malekar, program director at Amnesty International Israel, told
/Haaretz/ <http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.699506> that
al-Qiq should be put on trial or released.
“Instead, [Israel is] choosing a third option, which is to cause the
death of a prisoner who is apparently innocent of any crime,” she said.
Al-Qiq was tortured during his first two weeks of interrogation and
denied access to a lawyer, according to
<https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde15/3299/2016/en/> his lawyers
For up to 15 hours a day, al-Qiq was tied to a chair in a contorted
position. He was threatened with sexual violence and a lengthy prison
sentence if he did not confess to allegations against him.
The first time he saw his lawyer was at a hearing at Ofer military court
on 24 December. Al-Qiq was so weak he appeared in the courtroom in a
A journalist with the Saudi news agency Al Majd, al-Qiq has also written
opinion pieces for local Palestinian outlets.
Human rights groups and Palestinian journalists have accused Israel of
detaining al-Qiq because of his press work.
A military court judge told al-Qiq that the secret file of evidence
against him includes incitement to violence. The file also alleges that
he worked with Hamas-affiliated media and accuses him of posing a
“threat to the security of the area.”
On Tuesday, a few dozen journalists and politicians protested
outside the hospital where al-Qiq is being held. The demonstration,
organized by I’lam, a Palestinian group in Israel that campaigns for
media freedoms, was joined by several Palestinian members of Israel’s
parliament, the Knesset <https://electronicintifada.net/tags/knesset>.
One of those lawmakers, Basel Ghattas
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/basel-ghattas>, sent a letter to
Israel’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan
<http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.699506>: “You have the
power to prevent further deterioration in the prisoner’s condition and
to prevent the serious public ramifications that can be expected if any
harm befalls the prisoner.”
In its Wednesday ruling, the high court said it would continue to
monitor al-Qiq’s situation.
The court took a similar position with hunger striker Muhammad Allan
<https://electronicintifada.net/tags/muhammad-allan> last August,
freezing his administrative detention only when medical tests indicated
the prisoner had suffered brain damage
as a result of his protest.
Allan was only released
on 4 November, when his detention order expired.
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