Activists: Arresting al-Qiq arbitrary


Palestinian activists renewed affirmation on Sunday that arresting the Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq by the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) is an arbitrary action that has no legal justification.

Naser Abu Bakr, representative of the Palestinian journalists, said in a conference held by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) in Ramallah city on Sunday that arresting journalist al-Qiq falls in line with Israeli practices targeting Palestinian journalists in an attempt to distort the truth.

For his part, Head of Liberties Committee, Mohammed al-Lahham, affirmed that the members of the PJS will continue to defend al-Qiq and all detained journalists using the legal means available, especially that they were arrested for their work in journalism.

Journalist Fayha Shalash, al-Qiq’s wife, said that arresting her husband and extending his detention “is part of an Israeli attempt to eliminate the Palestinian icons,” adding that Israel seeks to break the symbolic image of individual hunger strikes.

Shalash added that the IOA is trying to find a justification or charge for holding her husband through summoning her for interrogation as well as raiding the family’s house and wreaking havoc in it.

She called on the PJS and all human rights organizations to act against Israel’s flimsy allegations aimed at renewing al-Qiq’s investigation, and asked the Palestinian presidency and government to pressure Israel to release him.

The defense lawyer Khaled Zabarqa said that the accusations mentioned in al-Qiq’s file which was submitted to the court are related to his political activities and his support for the issues of Palestinian martyrs and prisoners.

Zabarqa mentioned that prosecuting journalist al-Qiq is an arbitrary action that has no legal basis, noting that until this moment the IOA couldn’t find any charge that convicts him.

The lawyer pointed out that al-Qiq will appear in court on Monday for trial to discuss his legal situation, adding that al-Qiq is sticking to his decision to go on a hunger strike once turned to administrative detention.

The Israeli occupation forces re-arrested journalist al-Qiq at Beit El checkpoint to the north of al-Bireh city on 15th January 2017 after detaining him along with a number of relatives of Palestinian martyrs who had attended a protest in Bethlehem and who were later released.

The Palestinian journalist was previously arrested on 21st November 2015 by the IOA after raiding his house in Abu Qash town, to the north of Ramallah, and turned him to administrative detention that lasted for 6 months.

On 19th May 2016, al-Qiq clinched a deal following a 94-day hunger strike that he started on 25th November 2015 in protest at the bad treatment, administrative detention, and torture.

(Source / 06.02.2017)


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