Al-Qeeq enters 80th day of hunger strike, faces permanent injury as calls grow for release


Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, 33, has entered his 80th day of hunger strike, protesting his administrative detention by the Israeli state – imprisonment without charge or trial. Al-Qeeq, a journalist with Al-Majd TV, launched his hunger strike on 25 November while being subject to torture under Israeli interrogation, then continued the strike in protest of the order for his imprisonment without charge or trial.

Al-Qeeq’s medical situation is dire – he is currently under constant medical supervision in HaEmek hospital in Afula. Doctors have stated that he has suffered medical damage that may be impossible to fully recover from and will continue to impact his life following his detention.

He has refused all treatment by the Israeli hospital and rejected a Supreme Court decision that “suspended” rather than ended his administrative detention and forbade him from leaving the hospital. He requested a transfer to a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah, which was denied. Al-Qeeq is demanding an immediate end to his administrative detention; he refused a proposal for his release on 1 May, which would mark the normal end of the six-month administrative detention order. Because his detention has been “suspended,” al-Qeeq can receive visitors despite his inability to speak – recent visitors have included Archbishop Attallah Hanna.

Despite this, the Israeli state has not proposed any meaningful agreements or substantial proposals to end the suffering of al-Qeeq. Solidarity actions are continuing inside and outside Palestine with al-Qeeq as he reaches his 80th day of hunger strike; protests have taken place in Ramallah, Bir Zeit University, refugee camps throughout Palestine including Aida and Dheisheh, Nablus and Gaza in support of al-Qeeq in recent days, in addition to protests in Berlin, other German cities, New York and elsewhere. The Palestinians in Europe Conference also agitated for al-Qeeq’s release.

Amnesty International has issued a new urgent public statement on Al-Qeeq, while questions in the European Parliament and an appeal from the Ambassadorial Group of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have urged al-Qeeq’s release. In Samidoun’s meetings with European parliamentarians accompanying Leila Khaled, the issue of al-Qeeq was raised constantly and elicited strong verbal support.

Samidoun is urging people around the world to call the U.S. White House to urge action on Al-Qeeq today, his 80th day of hunger strike, and to join the New York City protest for his freedom.

Photos from demonstrations to free Al-Qeeq: