Arab Israelis demand release of Palestinian hunger striker

Arab Israelis demand release of Palestinian hunger striker

Palestinian journalist Mohamed Al-Qiq annouced that he will continue his hunger strike until he is declared totally free
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During a demonstration, a Palestinian man wears a mask covering depicting hunger striking Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq.

Arab Israelis demonstrated on Friday in support of a Palestinian journalist who has been on hunger strike for 80 days, demanding an end to his detention without trial by Israel.

Qiq, 33, a correspondent for Saudi Arabia's Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21 at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah and placed under administrative detention, an Israeli procedure allowing indefinite imprisonment 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 rights organisation.

On February 4, Israel's Supreme Court lifted the administrative detention order but ruled that he may not leave hospital.

Qiq responded that he would continue his fast until he is freed.

His lawyers and the Afula hospital say his medical condition means that his life is in grave danger.

His wife Fayha Shalash told reporters late Friday that "his state of health has never been so critical". 

In Qiq's hometown of Hebron, in the southern West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians also demonstrated on his behalf, an AFP journalist there said.

Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security service, says Qiq was arrested for "terror activity" as part of the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

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

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

Doha Centre for Media Freedom has also expressed concerns over the health of Al-Qiq, and echoed calls for all parties involved in his detention to work together to secure his release.

All rights reserved, Doha Centre for Media Freedom 2017

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