Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tagged under: ,

Palestinian Journalist Al-Qeq Ends His 94-day Hunger Strike

Steven Katsineris with a piece written on the end of the hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoner Mohammed al-Qeq after 94 days. Steven Katsineris is a Melbourne based activist and writer.

Imprisoned journalist Mohammed al-Qeq, 33, from al-Khalil, has ended his prolonged 94-day hunger strike began in protest at his administrative detention.

He stopped his hunger strike after Israel agreed to release him on 21 May, provide medical treatment at a hospital inside 1948 occupied Palestine and allow family visits during that time. Al-Qeq, 33, is a TV reporter and was arrested by Israel on November 21 last year and held under administrative detention without trial. He had been on hunger strike, drinking only water, since November 24.

The Palestinian hunger-striker came very close to death before ending his 94-day hunger strike on Feb 26, after a deal with the Israeli authorities. Qadura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoner's Society, said Israel had not agreed to al-Qeq's immediate release, but a "compromise" had been reached. Israel's six-month administrative detention against al-Qeq will now not be renewed. He added that al-Qeq would also be allowed visits from his family, including his wife, two children and his father. Israel has also agreed to transfer the hunger-striker to any hospital in Israel.

Administrative detention is often used by Israeli military courts to hold prisoners without any charges being laid or any trial. Palestinians have called the deal between Israeli authorities and Mohammed al-Qeq a detained Palestinian journalist a victory for him and the other detainees in Israeli jails.

Eassa Qaraqe, the head of the Detainee’s Affairs Commission of the Palestine Liberation Organisation hailed the deal, saying “it is considered a victory for Mohammed al-Qeq and the Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails in the face of the unlawful Israeli administrative detention.” 

Qaraqe’ thanked the “Palestinian people and all popular and legal institutions and national factions and to all international organisations and the Palestinians living in Israel for the important roles in supporting al-Qeq’s rights and demands throughout his strike and especially Knesset (Israeli Parliament) member Osama Sa’adi.”

Over the years, thousands of Palestinians have been held in administrative detention by Israel. At this time over 750 Palestinian political prisoners are being held as administrative detainees in Israeli jails.

Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to detain prisoners without charging them or allowing them to stand trial based on secret information, which cannot be accessed by either the detainees or lawyers, for periods of six months that can be renewed on unlimited occasions.

These administrative detention practices used by Israel’s military court system are a clear violation of these prisoners’ human rights. International law permits detention without trial under extremely limited and exceptional circumstances, but Israel uses the measure on a large scale, denying Palestinian detainees their due process. The world community should forcefully campaign to demand that Israel stop this blatant abuse of legal and human rights.

0 comments :