The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) calls for the immediate release of the hunger-striking Palestinian journalist, Mohamed al-Qiq.
Mr al-Qiq has been on hunger-strike for 93 days in protest at his detention without charge by the Israeli authorities and at the torture and cruel and inhuman treatment to which he says he was subjected. The administrative detention order against him has been suspended on health grounds, but the Israeli authorities have refused to allow him to be transferred to a hospital in the West Bank. He is now close to death, reportedly handcuffed to his hospital bed. His wife and children have been denied permits to visit him.
Mr al-Qiq was arrested by Israeli forces from his home in the West Bank on 21 November 2015 and detained under Israel’s administrative detention laws, which permit the arrest and detention of Palestinians, on secret evidence, for periods of up to six months, renewable indefinitely. Mr al-Qiq was forcibly transferred out of occupied Palestinian territory into Israel and has been detained there since, in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel asserts that he has engaged in incitement, has worked for Hamas-affiliated media and poses a threat to the security of the occupied territory.
BHRC calls on Israel to return Mr al-Qiq to the occupied West Bank immediately and to either release him or charge him with an internationally recognisable criminal offence and try him in proceedings adhering to international fair trial standards. Israel must also conduct independent investigations into Mr al-Qiq’s complaints of torture and ill-treatment and, if sufficient evidence is found, prosecute those responsible.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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- The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is the international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales, working to protect the rights of advocates, judges and human rights defenders around the world. The BHRC is concerned with defending the rule of law and internationally recognised legal standards relating to human rights and the right to a fair trial. It is independent of the Bar Council.