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Save Muhammad al-Qiq and Condemn Israeli torture and illegal detentions

Feb. 5, 2016, 5 a.m.

The Palestinian Mission in London condemns in the strongest terms the treatment, by the Israeli authorities, of Palestinian hunger striker, Muhammad al-Qiq, who has been illegally imprisoned without charge since November. Muhammad al-Qiq is one of 660 Palestinian prisoners currently held under Israeli ‘administrative detention’ where no formal charge has been made and no trial conducted.

Al-Qiq, a thirty-three old journalist went on hunger strike on 24th November to protest against his ill-treatment and torture in Israeli custody and to challenge his arbitrary detention without charge. Mohammad al-Qiq is not the first Palestinian to go on hunger strike. Palestinian prisoners, Khader Adnan and Muhammad Allan were both close to death before their release.

Muhammad al-Qiq has lost 60 kilos and is now in a life-threatening condition after continuing his hunger strike for 73 days. Amnesty International, the EU and the United Nations have expressed their grave concern over his case and the Israeli practice of detaining Palestinians without charge. Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid said, “I am alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating health of Palestinian administrative detainee, Mohammed al-Qiq, who is on hunger strike in protest against the arbitrary nature of his detention and ill-treatment”. The UN official reiterated that it is, “the United Nations’ long-standing position that all administrative detainees – Palestinian or Israeli – should be charged or released without delay”.

Only two days ago, an Israeli committee decreed that al-Qiq’s health had reached a critical stage and authorized force feeding and treatment of the illegally held prisoner. This drew wide condemnation from many quarters. Such action contravenes World Medical Association Declarations which forbid doctors force feeding or forcing treatment upon hunger strikers as being tantamount to torture. Both the Red Cross and the United Nations have declared it is a violation of international law and basic human rights.

After the international outcry over the committee’s decision, the Israeli Supreme Court, yesterday, suspended Muhammad al-Qiq’s detention until his health improves but al-Qiq indicated he will continue his hunger strike until his illegal detention is lifted.

The Palestinian Mission in the UK calls on the British government to condemn Israel’s illegal detention of Palestinians including the imprisonment of hunger striker, Muhammad al-Qiq, whose case has highlighted Israel’s illegal practice of arbitrary detention, yet again. It asks for a timely intervention by the British government to save the life of Muhammad al-Qiq and urge for his unequivocal release.

This case is just another example of Israel’s flagrant disregard for the lives of Palestinians and the Palestinian Mission in the United Kingdom demands that Israel is held accountable for its human rights record in its treatment of Palestinians and is compelled to respect its obligations under international law.

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