Imprisoned Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq was suddenly transferred on Wednesday, 22 February to the Ramle prison hospital after a sudden deterioration in his health on his 17th day of hunger strike. Al-Qeeq, 35, has been refusing food for 17 days, demanding his freedom from Israeli imprisonment without charge or trial under administrative detention. At this time, it is critically important to escalate international action and solidarity to demand freedom for Mohammed al-Qeeq and an end to administrative detention.
Al-Qeeq is one of nearly 550 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention. Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six month periods, but are indefinitely renewable, which means that Palestinians can be held for years on end without charge or trial at the order of the Israeli occupation military. These orders are issued on the basis of “secret evidence” to which both the detainee and their lawyer is denied access. Administrative detention as practiced by the Israeli state is a systematic mechanism of colonial repression and violates international law.
This is Mohammed al-Qeeq’s second time on hunger strike. In 2016, he conducted a 94-day hunger strike to win his freedom from administrative detention without charge or trial, winning his release in May 2016. Palestinian prisoners have frequently carried out collective and individual hunger strikes to demand basic rights as well as their liberation from imprisonment, especially from administrative detention.
Al-Qeeq was seized by occupation soldiers on 15 January at a checkpoint near Ramallah as he returned from a demonstration demanding the return of the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israel. Since his release in May 2016, al-Qeeq has been a particularly vocal advocate for imprisoned and oppressed Palestinians, supporting fellow prisoners on hunger strikes and engaged in struggles for justice. He was held under interrogation for 22 days and subjected to harsh interrogation and ill-treatment before once again being ordered imprisoned with no charge or trial. He was originally ordered to six months in administrative detention, which was then reduced to an indefinitely renewable three month period. Al-Qeeq refused to stop his strike, noting that he rejects entirely being imprisoned without charge or trial under the policy of administrative detention.
After his 2016 hunger strike that lasted over three months, Al-Qeeq’s health is particularly fragile. Nevertheless, his body, his health and his life are on the line to resist the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and demand an end to administrative detention. His strike has been joined by two fellow administrative detainees, Jamal Abu Leil and Raed Mteir, both of Qalandiya refugee camp, who have been refusing food for a week to demand their freedom after a year of imprisonment without charge or trial.
Mohammed al-Qeeq is one of 23 Palestinian journalists imprisoned by the Israeli state. His life and health are on the line not only for his freedom, but for Palestinian freedom overall and an end to administrative detention without charge or trial. It is critical to raise our voices internationally and demand freedom for Mohammed al-Qeeq, an end to administrative detention and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners.
1. Sign and share the public petition to international officials to demand they take a stand on administrative detention and Mohammed al-Qeeq’s imprisonment. Sign and share at: https://www.change.org/p/council-of-the-european-union-take-action-to-free-hunger-striking-palestinian-journalist-mohammed-al-qeeq
2. Organize a protest or a forum for Mohammed al-Qeeq and Palestinian prisoners. Israeli Apartheid Week is approaching and the Israeli injustice system is an excellent example to highlight in IAW activities, especially as your support can help to bring the international attention needed to help Mohammed al-Qeeq in his struggle for freedom. You can invite a speaker, hold a discussion, hold a protest, or just distribute leaflets and information (see below for sample leaflets and posters). To request resources or let us know about your event so we can post it publicly, email email@example.com or contact us on Facebook.
3. Hold a Symbolic Hunger Strike. This is an especially effective tactic on a campus for Israeli Apartheid Week, but can be used anywhere. A symbolic one-day hunger strike in which participants publicly express their solidarity with al-Qeeq and fellow Palestinian prisoners can help to raise local attention. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your event!
Flyers and Literature
|Mohammed al-Qeeq Leaflet – Download PDF|
|Mohammed al-Qeeq sign/poster (A3/11×17) – Download PDF|
|Apartheid in Israeli Prisons – Half-Page Leaflet – Download PDF|