Emergency Action: 82 days of hunger strike, threat of death for Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq


Imprisoned Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, 33, is showing symptoms of a heart attack or stroke on his 82nd day of hunger strike, said Palestinian lawyer Hanan al-Khatib, who warned that al-Qeeq may “die at any moment.”

Al-Qeeq is held without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention. He began his hunger strike on 25 November 2015 – four days after he was arrested by Israeli occupation forces – in protest of the torture to which he was subjected under interrogation – and has maintained the strike since he was imprisoned without charge or trial.  His body is reaching the limits of human possibility and he is faced with the danger of multiple organ failure at any time. Still, he is determined to continue and to demand his immediate release.

The case of Mohammed al-Qeeq is not about him alone: it is about Palestinian journalists targeted for persecution for exposing the reality of Israeli occupation; it is about the over 660 Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial; it is about the 7000 Palestinians imprisoned by the Israeli state. His struggle for freedom is a struggle for the freedom of the entire Palestinian people.

Palestinians are taking the streets throughout occupied Palestine to demand al-Qeeq’s release. His fellow prisoners are engaging in solidarity strikes. Fellow administrative detainee – and former hunger striker – Jafar Ezzedine, headed immediately to the solidarity tent outside his home upon his own release from 20 months imprisonment without charge or trial. Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and an EU parliamentary delegation have called for the end of al-Qeeq’s detention. Still, his case remains silenced.

On Monday, Samidoun is urging people in the United States and around the world to phone the White House to demand action to pressure the Israeli state to free Mohammed al-Qeeq: Call the White House on Mohammed al-Qeeq’s 83rd day of hunger strike to demand his immediate release: 001-202-456-1111. Join protests in Nicosia on 15 February, and New York on 19 February.  And sign and distribute this petition from the International Solidarity Movement calling for meaningful EU action.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network calls for EMERGENCY ACTION everywhere in the world to save Mohammed al-Qeeq and secure his freedom, in every city, on every campus, in every community. Events and actions have taken place in London, New York, Montreal, Berlin, Dublin, Brussels, Nicosia, Lebanon, and throughout Palestine. Now is the time for protests, sit-ins, flyering, tabling, and call-in actions to raise the voice and the profile of Mohammed al-Qeeq and create real popular pressure for his immediate release.

Take Action:

1. Contact government officials and demand that they break their silence on Al-Qeeq and support for Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. In the United States, call the Israel Foreign Service Desk
1-202-647-3672 and the White House – 202-456-1111. Demand action on al-Qeeq’s case and an end to aid to Israel. In the UK, call UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Philip Hammond, MP, +44 20 7008 1500. In Canada, call Foreign Minister Stephane Dion: 613-996-5789.

2. Protest at an Israeli consulate or embassy (or federal building, G4S office or public square) and demand freedom for Mohammed al-Qeeq. Raise the issue of this case publicly and distribute information – this flyer is available for you to distribute at protests in your community. Find your closest Israeli consulate: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/israel.  Please email us at samidoun@samidoun.netto inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.

3. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Palestinians have urged an international boycott of Israeli goods and institutions – and corporations that profit from occupation , like G4S, the world’s largest private security company, that sells security equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers – directly profiting from the occupation that destroys Palestinian lives. At the same time G4S profits from occupation, institutions like the United Nations continue to do business with it. Go to addameer.org/UNdropG4S to take action!