International journalist syndicates send a message to Netanyahu: release al-Qiq immediately

PNN/Ramallah

In an exclusive interview for PNN, Nasser Abu Baker, the chairman for the Palestinian journalists syndicate, stated that their local campaign to release the 3 months hunger-striking Palestinian journalist Mohammad al-Qiq gained an international voice in the past few weeks due to his worsening health conditions.

According to Abu Baker, the journalist syndicates from Greece, Turkey, Ireland, the United Kingdom and France, on Thursday sent a direct message to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding him and his administration to immediately release al-Qiq.

For Abu Baker, this letters came in a joint effort from foreigners journalists to support the Palestinian journalism syndicate campaing to release al-Qiq.

He thanked all the journalists and activists involved for their support and concern with al-Qiq case, specially with his health conditions.

The Greek journalist syndicate letter to the Israeli Prime Minister.
The Greek journalist syndicate letter to the Israeli Prime Minister.

Nasser Abu Baker expects that this actions will add a great pressure towards the Israeli government to release Mohammad al-Qiq immediately. He stated that, these syndicates are under the umbrella of the international journalism union association, which can put some great pressure on the Israeli government.

Al-Qiq 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.

He is one of 6,800 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel, including 660 administrative detainees and 18 journalists. Nearly all are tortured during interrogations by Israeli occupation forces.

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

Al-Qiq is now in the Israeli HaEmek hospital, and Israeli Occupation Authorities refuse to move him to Ramallah hospitals.

Human Rights organizations, including International Solidarity Movement, have called on the immediate release of Al-Qiq, saying that he is facing death any minute now.

Amnesty International on Thursday said that the journalist’s strike “reflected what former Palestinian administrative detainees held by Israel said in the past: that faced with “detention without charges for an unknown — and potentially unlimited — duration, they saw refusing food as their only way of demanding their rights under international law.”

The rights group said it feared that that the Israeli authorities were using administrative detention as a “method of punishing” al-Qiq without prosecuting him, amounting to arbitrary detention.