Palestinian hunger-striking journalist, Mohammed Al-Qiq has rejected a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court to suspend his six-month administrative detention sentence over medical concerns and to resume the sentence when he returns to health.
Still unable to speak, Al-Qiq wrote down his response to the decision, saying that he would continue his hunger strike until he is declared completely free.
“The decision of the administrative suspension is configurable a laugh at the world. I continue to strike until freedom, and freedom only,” he wrote.
Al-Qiq has been on hunger strike since November 25, and is “close to death” according to his lawyer and family members.
He also said that he would refuse any medical treatment until being transferred to a Palestinian hospital.
The journalist’s wife, Fayhaa Shalash told Ma’an News Agency on Friday that his health had deteriorated overnight, and that he was unresponsive to visitors.
She told a press conference: “Security forces have simply shifted the responsibility for the fate of my husband on to the hospital administration.”
The hospital reportedly told the court that Al-Qiq was in “grave danger” because of his health, stating: “the patient at this stage – and in fact during recent days – is in grave danger and in a condition where there is a high risk of his sudden death.”
Protestors in Palestine held stands of solidarity for Al-Qiq, and prominent figures have called on international organisations and press freedom groups to intervene to secure his release.
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement expressing their concern over Al-Qiq’s health: “We reiterate our concerns at the situation of Palestinian administrative detainees who are held without charge or trial by the Israeli authorities, often on the basis of state evidence.”
“We call, once again, upon the Israeli authorities to end their practice of administrative detention and to either release immediately or promptly charge and prosecute all administrative detainees.”
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.
Source: AFP, DCMF