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article imageIsraeli court to rule on fasting Palestinian journalist

By AFP     Jan 26, 2016 in World

Israel's top court will this week rule on whether to release a hunger-striking Palestinian journalist who is described as being close to death, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Jawad Boulus said the Supreme Court in Jerusalem will meet Wednesday to decide whether to scrap Mohammed al-Qiq's detention.

The lawyer added that Qiq's organs are on the verge of failing after 62 days without food, and that he would be too ill to attend Wednesday's hearing.

Qiq, a 33-year-old father of two and a correspondent for Saudi Arabia's Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21 at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He is being held under Israel's controversial administrative detention law, which allows the state to hold suspects for renewable six-month periods without trial.

He has been refusing food since November 25 in protest against the "torture and ill treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation", according to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organisation.

Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic security service, said Qiq was arrested for "terror activity" as part of the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Qiq's wife Faihaa told AFP at their home in Dura on Tuesday that her husband had been wrongfully detained.

"He is suffering from many complications, he couldn't talk and couldn't identify his lawyer or even see him," she said.

"Mohammad is a Palestinian journalist who was only covering the situation in the West Bank and he was arrested because of it," she added.

Qiq was jailed for a month in 2003 and then for 13 months in 2004 for Hamas-related activities.

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.

Prisoner Mohammed Allan, 31, ended a two-month hunger strike in August last year after his detention was suspended.

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