The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) calls for the immediate release of hunger striking administrative detainee Mr. Mohammad Al-Qeiq, who is in a life-threatening condition and has been forcibly treated. We have been informed by attorneys, that Al-Qeiq has been unable to hear, see, speak or breath normally due to his unstable and critical medical condition. Al-Qeiq has lost consciousness numerous times due to his health condition, the deterioration of which may result in his death. PHROC condemns the High Court’s decision on 27th of January 2016 not to intervene for his release, especially considering the dire situation of his health, as he is being held without trial or charges, and his health condition negates the possibility that his release would pose any viable security risk.
Journalist Mohammad Al-Qeiq, a 33 year old Palestinian journalist from Ramallah in the West Bank, was arrested by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) from his home without an arrest warrant on the 21st of November 2015 and has been held since then without charge or trial. Mr. Mohammad Al-Qeiq has been on hunger strike since the 25th of November 2015. As with all other administrative detainees, Mohammad’s detention is based on secret information to which he and his attorney do not have access. The military court judge has claimed that the secret file include information indicating that Mohammad carried out incitement within his work as a journalist.
The Israeli occupation policy of administrative detention is used in a widespread and systematic manner, which violates international human rights and humanitarian law. Administrative detention may be only used in emergency situations, but requires that the authorities follow basic rules for detention, including a fair hearing at which the detainee can challenge the reasons for his or her detention. These minimum standards of due process have been clearly violated in Mr. Mohammad’s case, leaving him without any legitimate legal means to defend himself. The military court's confirmation of his administrative detention order without demonstrating the presence of any clear evidence or conducting a serious investigation about the credibility of the information used against the journalist is arbitrary and contrary to international norms and conventions especially Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
PHROC strongly condemns the forced medical treatment of Mr. Al-Qeiq, despite his refusal. Mr. Al-Qeiq has been cuffed to the bed in the hospital despite his critical condition and has been subjected to degrading and ill-treatment in the hands of Israeli prison guards and the Israeli Prison Service. We express our grave concern that such practices may amount to torture and severely violate the human dignity and personal autonomy of detainees. We also underline that the ill-treatment and torture following his arrest is what he reported to Addameer attorney Samer Sama’an pushed him to go on hunger strike. Mr. Al Qeiq continues to be on hunger strike in protest of his continued detention without charge or trial, despite his deteriorating health condition.
PHROC holds that the use of administrative detention as a policy practiced by the occupying state is systemic and arbitrary, in contravention with international law. The use of administrative detention has attracted widespread condemnation from local and international organizations as a violation of fundamental human rights. PHROC is concerned that the potential implementation of force-feeding on Al-Qeiq could amount to torture, and may result in his death. The practice severely threatens the human dignity of prisoners and detainees on hunger strike.