Israel: Palestinian hunger striker to stay in jail

2016-01-27 20:41
Israeli soldiers stand guard next to a placard bearing a portrait of Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq during a demonstration next to Jewish settlement of Beit El. (AFP)

Israeli soldiers stand guard next to a placard bearing a portrait of Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq during a demonstration next to Jewish settlement of Beit El. (AFP)

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Jerusalem - A hunger-striking Palestinian journalist will remain in jail despite warnings over his deteriorating health, Israel's top court ruled on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court said it would not release Mohammed al-Qiq immediately, but would follow his health on a daily basis.

Qiq has been on hunger strike for 63 days over his detention under Israel's administrative detention law and his organs are at risk of failure any day, his legal team says.

The European Union on Wednesday said it was "especially concerned" about his deteriorating health.

His lawyer Jawad Boulus asked the Supreme Court to release him, but the three judges ruled that an earlier decision by a military court to detain him was legal.

Boulus said the judges were "briefed on classified material and are convinced that Muhammed al-Qiq constitutes a danger to the security of Israel", so declined to overturn the military court's ruling.

Under Israel's controversial administrative detention law, the state can hold suspects for renewable six-month periods without trial.

Qiq, a 33-year-old father of two and a correspondent for Saudi Arabia's Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21 at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic security service, said he was arrested for "terror activity" as part of the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

He denies the charges and has been refusing food since November 25 in protest against the "torture and ill treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation", according to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organisation.

Qiq was jailed for a month in 2003 and then for 13 months in 2004 for Hamas-related activities.

In 2008, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison on charges linked to his activities on the student council at the West Bank's Birzeit University.

Read more on:    hamas  |  eu  |  palestine  |  israel

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