Al-Qiq health conditions deteriorates once again

PNN/Jerusalem

Ashraf Abu Sneina, one of al-Qiq’s attorneys, on Friday evening visited the captive journalist Mohammed al-Qiq at the HaEmek Medical Centre, an Israeli hospital located in the city of Afula where al-Qiq is being held.

He stated that al-Qiq health condition had a significant deterioration, adding that he has lost the ability to speak and continues to suffer from fatigue, dizziness and difficulty when breathing.

“He’s in a very bad situation. He fell into his third coma in recent days, and his weight has dropped to 30 kilograms (66 pounds),” Sneina said in a recent interview to Al Jazeera.

One of the doctors responsible for Mohammed said that his health condition is in constant deterioration stressing that there is a huge possibility that at any moment his internal organs will stop working, speacially his kidneys and intestine, leading to his death.

The doctor added that there is also a high probability of him suffering a brain bleeding, once he already lost the sensitivity in various body limbs, especially on his feet.

“The patient at this stage – and in fact during recent days – is in grave danger and in a condition where there is a high risk of his sudden death,” court documents quoted the northern Afula hospital as saying.

On Thursday al-Qiq rejected the Israeli court decision to temporarily suspend his administrative detention without trial and said that he would continue his hunger strike which exceeds two months now.

Mohammed also refuses to accept any medical treatment while he remains in an Israeli hospital handcuffed to his bed.

His wife, Fayhaa Shalash, said on Friday that her husband’s health had continued to deteriorate and he was no longer responsive to visitors. She said that from Friday overnight his health had shown a decline comparing to Thursday, when she said he had still been responsive.

Al-Qمحمد-القيق-في-المستشفى-660x330iq was arrested on 21 November 2015 when Israeli soldiers blew up the front door of his house and took him in for interrogation at Israel’s Kishon (Jalame) detention center.

His hunger-strike, that was started on 24 November 2015, came as a protest against administrative detention in Israeli prisons for six months without any charges or court.

Mohammed, 33, who is a reporter for the Saudi-owned TV channel Almajd and a father of two, is one of 660 Palestinians being held in administrative detention according to Adameer – the highest number since 2008, according to data released in December. 

Under international law, administrative detention is only permissible as a last resort and in cases of an immediate threat.

However, after Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in 1967, it labored to find whatever legal justifications to holding Palestinian prisoners without trials. These efforts were eventually articulated in the Israeli Law on Authorities in State of Emergency in 1979.

Previously, other Palestinian prisoners have undertaken hunger strikes to protest their administrative detentions, including last year Khader Adnan and Muhammad Allan, who were both close to death by the time the Israelo government agreed to their release.

“It is our last and only choice,” said Muhammed Allan, 33, from Nablus, who underwent a hunger strike for so long that it resulted in brain damage, and nearly cost him his life.

“When you feel that all the doors are sealed, and you stand there humiliated and alone, knowing in advance that the court system is a charade, one is left with no other option but a hunger strike. Almost instantly, a hunger striker is thrown into solitary confinement, denied access to a mattress and blanket and other basic necessities. Only after six weeks or so do Israeli prison authorities agree to talk to lawyers representing hunger strikers to discuss various proposals. But within that period of time, the prisoner is left entirely unaided, separated from the other prisoners and subjected to an uninterrupted campaign of intimidation and threats. Mental torture is far worse than hunger,” he says.

Allan almost died in prison, and despite a court order that permitted prison authorities to force-feed him (a practice seen internationally as a form of torture), doctors at Soroka hospital refused to act upon the instructions. In mid-August 2015, Allan was placed on life support when he lost consciousness.

His severe malnutrition resulted in brain damage.

Khader Adnan, 37, from Jenin, was held under administrative detention law for years. Israeli intelligence had no evidence to indict him  on any particular charge, despite accusations that he was a valued member of the Islamic Jihad organization.

He was set free on July 12, 2015. This occurred only after he, too, resorted to undergoing several hunger strikes, and two particularly long ones: early in 2012 a hunger strike lasted for 66 days, and another, in May 2015, lasted for 56 days.

Meanwhile, Fayhaa, said her husband has passed her a message through his lawyers: “If the worst happens that I die, please forgive me. I had no other choice.”