Red Cross Says Palestinian Hunger Striker at ‘Critical Stage’

Photo Credit AFP | Ahmad Gharabli

(AFP).  The life of imprisoned Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq is in danger from his 64-day-old hunger strike, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday.

“Mr. Qiq has been on hunger strike for more than 60 days and has entered a critical stage, his life being at risk,” the ICRC said in a statement.

It called for his Israeli captors and Qiq himself “to find a solution that will avoid any loss of life.”

The European Union on Wednesday said it was “especially concerned” about his deteriorating health.

Qiq, a 33-year-old father of two and a correspondent for Saudi Arabia’s Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21 at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He is being held under Israel’s controversial administrative detention law, which allows the state to hold suspects for renewable six-month periods without trial.

He has been refusing food since November 25 in protest against the “torture and ill treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation”, according to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organisation.

He has appealed against his internment but Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to order his release although it said it would follow his health on a daily basis.

Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic security service, says Qiq was arrested for “terror activity” as part of the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Qiq’s wife Faihaa says he is being wrongfully detained.

“Mohammed is a Palestinian journalist who was only covering the situation in the West Bank and he was arrested because of it,” she told AFP this week.

Qiq was jailed for a month in 2003 and then for 13 months in 2004 for Hamas-related activities.

In 2008, he was sentenced to 16 months on charges linked to his activities on the student council at the West Bank’s Birzeit University.

Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allan, 31, ended a two-month hunger strike in August last year after his detention was suspended.

01/29/2016 7:04 AM by JP Newsroom

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