9th February 2016 | Hebron, occupied Palestine
On Wednesday February 10th, 18:00 supporters will arrive at the hospital in Afula, accompanied by an ambulance and doctors, to transfer Mohammed Al-Qeeq for medical treatment in the Ramallah hospital.
Journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq is on the 77th day of hunger strike and fighting for his life. He has expressed his wish to move from hospital in Afula where he is currently being held without charge to the Ramallah hospital but the Israeli police refuse to allow it.
Hanan Khatib, one of Al-Qeeq’s lawyers, delivered his message to the press: “Al-Qeeq says he is a journalist and his arrest is illegal. The court has frozen his administrative detention but decided he must stay in the hospital in Afula. Al-Qeeq refuses to stay in Israeli hospitals and will only accept medical treatment in the West Bank.”
Al-Qeeq, a 33-year-old journalist from Ramallah, is accused by the Israeli Shin Bet of being a Hamas activist. He was arrested on November 21st of 2015. According to his friends, Al-Qeeq was interrogated about “media incitement”, tortured and refused to cooperate. After four days he was issued an administrative detention order and announced his hunger strike.
On the 76th day of his hunger strike, Al-Qeeq lost most of his sight and hearing abilities and can barely speak. He is on the verge of death and may suffer a heart attack or organ system failure at any moment.
Last Thursday, the Israeli high court ruled to “freeze” his administrative detention and allowed him to receive visitors, but stopped short of ordering his release and refused to overrule the administrative order despite the fact that in his current medical condition he could not pose danger to anyone. Attorney Jihad Abo Raya explains: “In criminal law either a person is under arrest or he is free to move as he pleases, but for Palestinian detainees the court has created something new, they claim that Mohammed Al-Qeeq is no longer under administrative detention – but they also refuse to allow him to leave Afula hospital.”