Mohammed al-Qeeq transferred to isolation in Jalame prison; family has no knowledge of his health condition

On his 11th day of hunger strike, imprisoned Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, held without charge or trial under Israeli administrative detention, was transferred from isolation in Hadarim prison to isolation in Jalame prison, said his wife Fayha Shalash in a press conference on Wednesday, 15 February.

Shalash noted that he was to have a legal visit in Hadarim this morning but that his lawyer was informed that he had been transferred and that a new legal visit would need to be arranged.  In addition, al-Qeeq’s family said that they have no information about his health, saying that his lawyer Khaled Zabarqa has urged that he be admitted immediately to hospital as his physical strength remains compromised by the 94-day hunger strike he carried out in 2016 when he was imprisoned previously.

The family also urged immediate medical treatment for al-Qeeq, calling on international medical institutions to intervene to pressure the occupation for his immediate release.

Al-Qeeq, 35, is on hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial. He previously engaged in a 94-day hunger strike against his administrative detention in early 2016 that drew widespread international and Palestinian support and secured his release in May 2016. He was once again seized by Israeli occupation soldiers on 15 January at the Beit El checkpoint near Ramallah as he returned home from a demonstration in Bethlehem demanding the return of bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces.

He was interrogated and subject to torture and ill-treatment for 22 days before once again being ordered to administrative detention without charge or trial, sparking him to launch a new hunger strike for his release. Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike are frequently subjected to solitary confinement and arbitrary transfers, as the arduous journeys via “bosta” take hours between prisons and are punishing on the bodies of already depleted hunger strikers. Such transfers serve as a further form of pressure on hunger strikers in an attempt to induce them to end their strikes.

Al-Qeeq is one of over 520 Palestinian prisoners held without charge or trial under administrative detention, among 7,000 total Palestinian prisoners. Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six month periods and are indefinitely renewable. Held over from the British colonial mandate over Palestine, administrative detention has been widely condemned for its arbitrary usage to confine prominent Palestinian leaders and activists, like al-Qeeq, who since his release in May 2016 has been a prominent advocate for Palestinian prisoners.