11th February 2016 | International Solidarity Movement | Palestine
URGENT CALL FOR ACTION – Palestinian journalist is nearing death on hunger strike for freedom.
33-year-old Mohammad Al-Qeeq’s health condition is deteriorating rapidly. He has lost over half his body weight, and is unable to see or talk properly; there is imminent threat to his life. An independent doctor visited Al-Qeeq at HaEmek hospital in Afula on Thursday 4 February and said that he appears to be close to death, reported Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-Israel), who organized the visit. Although Al-Qeeq refused to be examined, visible signs point to severe ill-health.
This is the time for action; this is to time to mobilize for freedom. We call on you, our friends and comrades in the struggle for justice and freedom to act now. Protest at an Israeli consulate or embassy or public square and demand freedom for Mohammed al-Qeeq. Contact government officials and demand that they break their silence on Al-Qeeq and support for Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.
Al Qeeq is from the West Bank village of Dura near Hebron, where he worked as a TV reporter for the Saudi news channel “Almajd.” His wife Fayha Shalash says Israeli soldiers raided their home in Ramallah on the night of November 21, 2015 blowing up the house door and waking up the family, blindfolding Mohammad and arresting him. Al-Qeeq was taken in for interrogation at Israel’s Kishon (Jalame) detention center north of the West Bank. He was not allowed to make contact with either his wife or his attorney for 20 days.
Shalash says her husband is being held without charge or trial for doing his job as a journalist. She says her husband chose to refuse his arbitrary detention and continue to raise his voice by refusing food and refusing to be detained by Israel as punishment for his opinion. Mohammad began refusing food on the 25th of November 2015, protesting the conditions of his interrogation and unlawful detention. Al Qeeq told his lawyer he was interrogated and accused of media incitement, and that interrogators threatened to rape him and assault his wife if he does not confess to incitement. Al Qeeq said the interrogators told him that he had two options: to confess to incitement or face up to 7 years in administrative detention. He had no option but to go on hunger strike.
Ashraf Abu Snaneh, Al-Qeeq’s lawyer, says Israel is using administrative detention as a peg to silence the journalist and is forbidding him from due legal process. “If the Israeli security apparatus has evidence against Mohammad they should bring it forward to court and at least give him the right to fight for his innocence at court, but holding him on so-called secret files is unfair and unlawful.”
ACT NOW TO SAVE HIS LIFE ACT NOW FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE