The International Federation of Journalists issued the following statement calling for freedom for imprisoned Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq. IFJ, the world’s largest organisation of journalists, represents around 600.000 members in 139 countries across the world. The IFJ promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice through strong, free and independent trade unions of journalists:
The IFJ called today on its affiliates worldwide to join their sister union in Palestine, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, to demand that the Israeli authorities release journalist Muhammad al-Qiq who entered his 83rd day on hunger strike.
According to his family, al-Qiq currently hospitalised at the Emek Medical Center in Afula is at risk of heart attack, stroke or total organ failure as he has been taking only water and refused all treatments.
“Mohammed is now in a critical situation and the IFJ calls on journalists unions and their members worldwide to join forces with his wife Faihaa and the union to save his life,” said IFJ president, Jim Boumelha.
Following complex arguments in high court throughout the last fortnight, his lawyers announced refused transfer to a hospital under Israeli authority and requested that he be transferred to a hospital in Ramallah.
Al-Qiq, a news reporter for Saudi channel Al Majd, has refused food and medical treatment since November 24, three days after he was arrested. He went on hunger strike to protest a six-month sentence under Israel’s controversial administrative detention law allows authorities to detain individuals indefinitely without charge or trial if they are deemed a security threat.
“Israel’s defense minister can still intervene at this stage and release Mohamed from detention,” added Boumelha.
The IFJ urges all IFJ unions to:
1) write immediately to the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to demand that Mohamed is set free forthwith.
2) Write to their governments and involve members of their parliament asking that they urge embassies of Israel to communicate to their Prime Minister the request to free Al-Qiq.
3) Participate in any activity, demonstrations and pickets to help save his life.