Mohammed al-Qeeq, 33, Palestinian journalist now on hunger strike for 76 days in protest of his imprisonment without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention, has rejected a proposed agreement to free him by 1 May. Al-Qeeq, suffering from severe health effects related to his hunger strike, including loss of speaking ability, hearing and extreme weight loss and is “threatened with death,” has announced that he will end his strike and accept medical treatment only in a Palestinian hospital. The Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Committee and Al-Qeeq’s lawyers announced on Sunday, 7 February that he rejected any agreement that did not immediately bring to an end his imprisonment without charge or trial.
This announcement came as Palestinian leader and former hunger striker, Khader Adnan, who won his release from administrative detention twice in long-term hunger strikes, conducted a one-day solidarity strike for al-Qeeq, alongside his wife and other activists for the freedom of Palestinian prisoners. Protests throughout Palestine and internationally are demanding al-Qeeq’s immediate release, including an occupation at the International Committee of the Red Cross office in Gaza City that demanded more action to free al-Qeeq, support tents in various West Bank cities and refugee camps, and protests in occupied Palestine ’48.
Al-Qeeq, a journalist with Al-Majd television, has been on hunger strike since 25 November. He initiated the strike in protest of his torture under interrogation and continued it when ordered to six months administrative detention without charge or trial. He has pledged to continue his strike until freedom, and earlier rejected an Israeli Supreme Court decision to “suspend” his detention due to his health condition.
Cartoon: Mohammed Sabaaneh