Mohammed al-Qeeq, Palestinian journalist in distress, approaching his 90th day of hunger strike (Monday) … Image posted by Samidoun
Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq (33) from Ramallah is now approaching his 90th day on hunger strike (Monday) in protest at “administrative detention” by Israeli authorities without charge or trial. Israeli security forces arrested al-Qeeq on November 21st in relation to alleged involvement in terror activities. He is currently at Haemek Hospital, Afula where family members are denied access to visit with security issues cited as the reason.
Haaretz reports, “as part of the suggestions made, it was proposed that al-Qeeq be transferred to al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, where he would stop his strike and continue to receive medical assistance.” According to Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network there is still no sign of a deal to release him. Qadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian prisoner club which advocates for Palestinians jailed by Israel said in Jerusalem Post, “if Israel has charges against him, bring him before a fair trial. Otherwise free him immediately.” JP highlighted, “there are currently 600 Palestinians held in administrative detention, according to the Israeli Prison Service.”
Outside the hospital, supporters gather in solidarity leading to a tightening of security. A video posted on Youtube shows al-Qeeq wasting away, now close to death. He calls out in distress, grabbing at the iron bar of his bed and writhing in agony. See following link,
Life Science describes what happens to a person who rejects food for a long period,
“After more than a month of fasting, or when more than 18 percent of body weight is lost, severe and permanent medical complications can occur. It can become very difficult to swallow water, hearing and vision loss can occur, breathing can become labored and organ failure can start to set in.
Beyond 45 days, death is a very real risk, due to cardiovascular collapse or severe infection.
Aside from the physical damage suffered by hunger strikers,psychological changes causing impulsive and aggressive behavior are common. These effects can “enhance the likelihood that [hunger strikers] will starve themselves to death,” according to a report from the Journal of Medical Ethics.
Even after a hunger strike ends, refeeding has some real risks, since the metabolic changes that occur during severe fasting can be profound.”
Others are now joining al-Qeeq on hunger strike. Younes Arar, Palestinian human rights defender from Hebron, West Bank posted the following message on Facebook on the 16th February,
“Am on hunger strike,
As of tomorrow am on HUNGER STRIKE in solidarity with the long Palestinian huger striker Mohammad Alqeeq who is on hunger strike for 84 days in Zionist occupation detention protesting against administrative detention (no Accusation, no charge, no trial, open imprisonment), 16 February 2016.”
Fayha Shalash, Al-Qeeq’s wife has called on the people of the world to put pressure on Israel to free him and take urgent action to save his life, see following video,
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”