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Muhammad al-Qiq

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Muhammad al-Qiq
محمد القيق
Born21 April 1982 (1982-04-21) (age 38)
Nationality Palestinian
EducationMaster's degree in Contemporary Arab Studies, Birzeit University
OccupationJournalist, writer
TelevisionCorrespondent at Almajd TV Network
Spouse(s)Fayha Shalash, journalist

Muhammad al-Qiq or Mohammed al-Qeeq (Arabic: محمد القيق‎) is a Palestinian Journalist, Correspondent and reporter at the Saudi News Agency Almajd TV Network.

Al-Qiq received international attention in 2015 when he began a hunger strike in 2015 in protest of him being incarcerated under Israeli administrative detention (internment without trial or charge).[1][2] He was released on May 19, 2016 after enduring a 94-day hunger strike.[3]

Al-Qiq was detained again in January 16, 2017 and subsequently began a new hunger strike.[4]

Al-Qiq lives in Abu Qash in the Ramallah District in Palestine. He has a Master's degree in Contemporary Arab Studies from Birzeit University.


At 2:00 am on 21 November 2015, al-Qiq was arrested at his home in Ramallah. The Israeli Security Agency Shin Bet said al-Qiq was arrested for "terror activity" for the Islamist group Hamas.[5]

B'Tselem reported that the classified intelligence evidence viewed by the Israeli Supreme Court was judged significant and that the court therefore deemed the detention justified. Unusually, the Court's decision contained details of the reasons for Al-Qiq's detention; "Involvement in recent military activity, in the operations of Kutla Islamiya in Bir Zeit University, and military contact with operatives in the Gaza Strip."[6] According to Amnesty, the stated reason for Al-Qiq's detention was "incitement," of working with media associated with Hamas and of being a "threat."[7]

Previous Arrests and Detentions

In 2003, Al-Qiq was imprisoned for a month; in 2004, he was imprisoned for 13 months for "Hamas-related activities"; and in 2008, he was "sentenced to 16 months on charges linked to his activities on the student council at the West Bank's Birzeit University."[8]

Hunger strike

Almost a month later, on 17 December, an administrative detention order was issued against him. Shortly after his arrest, al-Qiq launched a hunger strike in protest.[9] Prison guards at HaEmek Medical Center hospital in Afula tied him to his bed, forcibly examined and treated him, and put an intravenous line in his arm to administer salts and minerals against his will.[citation needed]


On 15 January 2016, al-Qiq collapsed and was transferred to an intensive care unit and forcibly treated again.[10]

"Free or dead"

In an interview with Al Jazeera English on 1 February 2016, al-Qiq's wife, Fayha Shalash, said that her husband had signed a document refusing any medical treatment, even if he loses consciousness. "His decision is very clear: either free or dead, not in between," Shalash said.[11]

Starting 10 January 2016, the hospital forcibly fed al-Qiq for four consecutive days. He was strapped to his bed, unable to get up for any reason, and fed intravenously.[12]

Lost significant hearing

On 2 February 2016 it was reported that al-Qiq has lost significant hearing, and he is still conscious and refuses any medical treatment.[13]

Lost ability to speak

On 6 February 2016 (74th consecutive day) it was reported that al-Qiq has lost his ability to speak due to his frail health, and that he only communicates in writing. He has said he will continue his hunger strike until "martyrdom or freedom".[14]

High Court "suspends" detention order

On Thursday 4 February, Israel's High Court of Justice "suspended" the detention order after al-Qiq's health deteriorated. Its conditions stipulated that al-Qiq must remain in hospital, and must seek permission from the Israeli authorities should he wish to receive treatment at another hospital. According to al-Qiq's lawyer, Jawad Boulus, the High Court said that the authorities would re-arrest al-Qiq should his health improve, and resume the detention order against him. The journalist vowed to continue his hunger strike until he is released or dead.[15]

Refuses Israeli offer to be released in May

On Sunday 7 February 2016, al-Qiq refused an Israeli offer to be released in May. While still gravely ill and at risk of death, the hunger striker is insisting on an immediate end to his administrative detention. Pointing out an apparent inconsistency in the reasons given by Israel for detaining al-Qiq and the offer of release on 1 May, Amnesty International asked "If al-Qiq was detained for real and imperative reasons of security, how can the authorities know he will no longer pose a threat as of 1 May?"[16]

High Court compromise proposal

On Monday, 15 February, Israeli High Court of Justice proposed the solution to transfer al-Qiq to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem. Justice Elyakim Rubinstein has denied al-Qiq's lawyer to transfer him to a hospital in Ramallah from the hospital in Afula where he is currently hospitalised.[17]

Political and diplomatic

The Chairman of the Committee for Detainees and Ex-detainees, Issa Qaraqe, said al-Qiq's health condition has deteriorated severely, and that he is in need of intensive care. He called on the international community to intervene and pressure Israel to release him, saying Al-Qiq insists on going free before he ends his hunger-strike.[18]

On Wednesday 27 January 2016, the European Union said it was "especially concerned" about the prisoner's deteriorating health.[19]


On Thursday 28 January 2016, the International Committee of the Red Cross said that after 64 days, al-Qiq's hunger strike "has entered a critical stage" and his life was being put at risk. They called on Israel "to find a solution that will avoid any loss of life."[19]

In a statement issued on Tuesday 2 February 2016, the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid, Robert Piper, reiterated "the United Nations' long-standing position that all administrative detainees – Palestinian or Israeli – should be charged or released without delay".[2][20]

On 8 February 2016, Amnesty International expressed further concern that al-Qiq is at imminent risk of death and remains effectively detained without charge or trial.[16]

Israeli public opinion

There are voices among Israeli public that call for government to stop practice of administrative detentions and either release such prisoners or put him on trial.[21] The protests against the police and al-Qiq detention are being organized by Israeli Arab journalists and members of Knesset.[22]


On 14 January 2016, the International Federation of Journalists and its affiliate the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate expressed deep concern over al-Qiq's health and demanded his immediate release.[23]

See also

External links


  1. ^ Israeli hospital report confirms hunger-striker's critical condition, Ma'an News Agency
  2. ^ a b Israel Approves Forcible Treatment of Hunger Striker al-Qiq, Wafa
  3. ^ "Israel detains former hunger striker Muhammad al-Qiq after protest".
  4. ^ "Al-Qiq launches new hunger strike, wife calls detention 'illegitimate' attempt to imprison journalist".
  5. ^ "Palestinian journalist keeps up hunger strike". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Life of journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, administrative detainee on hunger strike for 65 days, in danger". Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Palestinian journalist imprisoned by Israel without trial on verge of death, entering third month of hunger strike".
  8. ^ "Palestinian journalist keeps up hunger strike". Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  9. ^ Palestinian Hunger Striker Mohammed Al-Qiq's Condition Takes a Turn for the Worse, Haaretz
  10. ^ Israel must end ill-treatment of hunger-striking Palestinian detainee, Amnesty International, 22 January 2016
  11. ^ Q&A: Jailed Palestinian man to be 'either free or dead', Al Jazeera English, 1 February 2016
  12. ^ Israel forcibly treated hunger-striking journalist
  13. ^ Israeli court to hold hearing for hunger-striking journalist, Ma'an News Agency
  14. ^ Imprisoned hunger striker al-Qiq refuses Israeli offer to be released in May, Ma'an News Agency
  15. ^ 'Suspending detention is murder': Family of Palestinian hunger-striker, The New Arab
  16. ^ a b Israel/OPT: Palestinian hunger-striking detainee close to death, Amnesty International
  17. ^ Jack Khoury and Ido Efrati. "Compromise Sought to Save Palestinian Hunger-striker's Life". Ha Aretz. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  18. ^ Palestinian journalist continues hunger-strike for 64 consecutive days, Alresalah newspaper.
  19. ^ a b Palestinian inmate in critical stage, PressTV
  20. ^ Statement by the United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid, Robert Piper, on Israel’s continued practice of administrative detention, 3 February 2016
  21. ^ "Israel Must Try or Free Hunger-striking Palestinian Journalist al-Qiq". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  22. ^ Haggai Matar. "Journalists protest for release of hunger striking Palestinian". Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  23. ^ Detained without trial: Hunger striking Palestinian journalist's health deteriorating in Israeli jail, IFEX