Three months into his hunger strike, Mohammed al Qiq's form is skeletal. He writhes and groans in pain, his speech is slurred beyond recognition, his vision is fading, and he can no longer hear properly. All signs that he is slowly starving to death.
Qiq, a 33-year-old Palestinian reporter for a Saudi television network accused of belonging to Islamist group Hamas, was arrested by Israeli security forces in Ramallah on November 21. Four days later he began refusing food after being placed under an administrative detention order; a draconian measure that allows prisoners to be held indefinitely without knowing the charges or evidence against them. (Harriet Salem, A Palestinian Journalist is Close to Death, 92 Days Into One of World's Longest Hunger Strikes, VICE News, February 25, 2016.)This administrative detention is the continuation of a practice from British rule that was in place before 1948. In all that time it has failed to deliver peace. It needs to be abolished.
Recently his lawyer stated that the hunger strike began in response to threats that he would be placed in administrative detention for seven years and that the interrogators would rape him and his family.
Israeli investigators threatened to rape Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed al-Qiq, his wife and children, according to his lawyer, Ashraf Abu Sneineh.
“In the beginning of the investigation of Mohammed they told him that they will keep him under administrative detention for seven years if he did not confess,” Abu Sneineh told Mondoweiss by telephone Wednesday morning. “He said ‘I have nothing to confess to and I don’t want to continue this investigation in this manner.’ So they threatened to rape him, his wife and his kids.”
After these threats, al-Qiq began his hunger strike, according to Abu Sneineh. (Dan Cohen, Israeli interrogators threatened to rape al-Qiq and his family– so he launched hunger strike, lawyer says, Mondoweiss, February 19, 2016.)No wonder he went on hunger strike. Unfortunately even after 92 days the Israeli authorities has yet to release him or even present charges against him.
According to Abu Sneineh, Israel has not officially charged al-Qiq because of insufficient evidence, and reliance on intelligence from informants. “They can’t give any proof against him, and even if they tried, he would be released the next day,” she said. (Dan Cohen, Israeli interrogators threatened to rape al-Qiq and his family– so he launched hunger strike, lawyer says, Mondoweiss, February 19, 2016.)Since the Israeli authorities cannot be bothered to even bring charges against Mohammed al Qiq should be freed immediately.