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Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al Qiq arrested – again

A May 2016 photo showing the Al Qiq being hugged by his sister in the West Bank town of Dura the day he was released. He has since been rearrested
A May 2016 photo showing the Al Qiq being hugged by his sister in the West Bank town of Dura the day he was released. He has since been rearrested

REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

This statement was originally published on madacenter.org on 21 February 2017.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms MADA expresses its deep concern regarding journalist Mohamed Al-Qiq's health, and what he has been exposed to by Israeli authorities following his administrative detention on 15 January 2017. Al-Qiq has been on hunger strike for 16 days.

Al Qiq was released after a previous prison stint on 21 May 2016. He had spent 93 days on hunger strike protesting his administrative detention. The quick deterioration of his health forced Israeli authorities to release him but he was rearrested merely 8 months later, and again is being detained without trial.

Al Qiq's wife Fayha' Shalash reported to MADA that his lawyer Khaled Zabarqa managed to visit him on 19 February in Al-Jalmeh detention center. Zabarqa had to issue a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court to visit his client as authorities kept postponing the event for over ten days.

Shalash added that, according to Zabarqa, "Al Qiq's health condition is deteriorating due to his continuous hunger strike. Al-Qiq now suffers from dizziness, loss of balance and severe back pains, symptoms that are similar to those he faced during his last hunger strike."

"Zabarqa informed me that he is being exposed to horrible detention conditions," added Shalash. "He is now located in a narrow cell less than 4 meters wide. It lacks minimum humanitarian needs and the authorities are preventing him from receiving blankets and winter clothes, hindering his ability to sleep due to the cold."

Al-Qiq reported to his lawyer that he is exposed to such bad conditions in an attempt to force him to end his hunger strike, which he is insisting on continuing until his administrative detention is repealed.

MADA calls on all human rights organizations, and all bodies concerned with freedom of expression and media freedoms, to put pressure on Israeli authorities to immediately release Al Qiq, to stop arresting Palestinian journalists for their work, and to stop Israel's commonly used policy of arbitrary administrative detentions without charges, noting that most administrative detention cases are renewed and extended, sometimes lasting for years.

Finally, MADA sends its warm greetings to journalist Omar Nazzal, and congratulates him on being released from administrative detention by Israeli forces, after 10 months in prison.

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