Hunger striking journalist Al-Qeeq’s hearing delayed till February 25; lawyers warn of threat to his life


The Israeli Supreme Court said on Tuesday that it would consider the appeal of Mohammed al-Qeeq, the imprisoned Palestinian journalist who has been on hunger strike for 58 days in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial, on February 25 – earning outrage from lawyers and advocates, noting he could die of his hunger strike before that date.

Al-Qeeq, 33, is a correspondent for Al-Majd Channel; he is held with 660 other Palestinians under administrative detention, without charge or trial. He is married and a father of two.

On 10 January, he was forcibly treated in Afula hospital, when an intravenous glucose/vitamin solution was inserted into his vein while his hands and legs were restrained. The IV remained in place until 14 January. This forced treatment was condemned as a violation of medical ethics by Addameer, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, and other groups, who have noted that his condition is life-threatening.

Palestinian journalists went on a one-day hunger strike on Wednesday, and public employees conducted a one-day strike, in solidarity with Al-Qeeq, as the Arab League called for the release of the imprisoned journalist. Protests have continued inside and outside Palestine, demanding Al-Qeeq’s release.  Reporters Without Borders has issued a statement about Al-Qeeq, “call[ing] on the Israeli authorities to free him and to ensure that their investigation is transparent and impartial.”

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network will protest to free Al-Qeeq and for the boycott of G4S, the multinational security corporation that provides security systems to Israeli prisons and checkpoints, on Friday, 22 January, at 4:00 pm in New York City.