Israeli Military Prosecution Considers Suspension of Hunger Striker’s al-Qiq’s Administrative Detention

RAMALLAH, February 1, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli military prosecution and internal security service, Shabak, Monday held a meeting to discuss the suspension of the administrative detention of Palestinian hunger striker, Journalist Mohammed al-Qiq, following a severe deterioration in his health, said an official at the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs.

WAFA reported on Eyad Mesk, Director-General of the Legal Department of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission, as saying that Israeli military prosecution and internal security service, Shabak, held a meeting to consider suspending the administrative detention of journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, who has been hunger-striking for 69 consecutive days in protest against his detention without charge or trial.

The commission’s official slammed the meeting as an “extension of the crime condoned by the Israeli Supreme Court, which has delegated the case of al-Qiq to military prosecution.”

Mesk added that the Israeli Supreme court’s referral of the case to military prosecution, effectively allows military prosecution unbridled authority to deal with the case according to whims.

He noted that al-Qiq had expressed his rejection to the suspension of his detention-without-trial and announced that he would not end his hunger strike unless the Israeli Supreme Court passes an unequivocal ruling to release him.

On January 28, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal to end the administrative detention of al-Qiq and decided to keep him in detention without charge or trial, despite his deteriorating health condition.

The court signaled that it would examine reports about al-Qiq’s health condition in order to take a verdict.

Al-Qiq, 33, a journalist, began an open-ended hunger strike on November 25, 2015, refusing to take nutrients and undergo medical checkups, relaying on water only.

He has been detained without charge or trial on the basis of ‘secret evidence’ which has been withheld from him and his lawyers, thereby denying him the ability to exercise his right to challenge his detention.

Al-Qiq is one of many Palestinian detainees who resorted to hunger strike to protest their detention without charge or trial.

In late August 2015, the Israeli Supreme Court decided to suspend the administrative detention of Muhammad ‘Allan following 65 days of hunger strike, because of his critical condition.

‘Allan was admitted into Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center (BMC) following his health deterioration. He remained for about two weeks at the intensive care unit in an attempt to overcome the ]extensive[ brain damage he sustained as a result of the hunger strike.

In an urgent action appeal, Amnesty International reported that Israeli court’s decision was based on ‘Allan’s medical condition alone – -the results of the MRI scan – and “took no account of the legality of his detention.”

 

The court had ruled that if no improvement showed in Allan’s neurological damage, the detention order will be revoked entirely. If his health improves, it can be re-imposed, reported Amnesty International.

 

Taking into consideration ‘Allan’s case, the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission expressed concerns that the administrative detention of al-Qiq would be re-imposed if his health improves and that the court’s ruling suggests that it condones the legality of the use of administrative detention against Palestinian political prisoners.

 

Palestinian human rights organization Addameer had said that the court’s ruling “condones arbitrary and administrative detention used by Israeli occupation forces in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

 

“The court’s decision to suspend Allan’s administrative detention and not to repeal it affirms that Palestinians cannot seek justice from the Israeli judicial system. Israeli courts at all levels merely serve as an instrument to legitimize the Israeli occupation’s policies including administrative detention,” it had added in a press release.

 

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