The Israeli arrest of former hunger striker Muhammad Al-Qeeq is an “arbitrary measure”, stressing it came on grounds of “suppressing free speech”, Palinfo.com reported the head of the Palestinian Journalist Syndicate saying yesterday.
During a conference held in Ramallah, Naser Abu-Baker said: “Muhammad Al-Qeeq’s arrest is a retention of the Israeli occupation’s policy which targets Palestinian journalists in an attempt to supress the facts and hide the real image of the Israeli violations on the ground.”
Head of the Legal Committee in the Syndicate Mohamed Al-Laham reiterated that his committee continues its efforts to defend Al-Qeq and the other journalists held in prison.
Al-Qeeq’s wife, journalist Fayha Shalash, said her husband’s detention is “part of the Israeli occupation’s attempts to get rid of the symbols of the Palestinians.”
She also said that the Israeli occupation is trying to “break down the symbolic value of the individual hunger strikes and to tear down the efforts of the prisoner’s movement and the positive outcomes of its resistance.”
Shalash said that she has been summoned and investigated, her house was stormed several times during which furniture was damaged and her belongings confiscated.
She called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his government to put pressure on the Israeli occupation in order to release her husband.
Al-Qeeq’s lawyer, Khaled Zabarqeh, said that the charges found in the imprisonment file relate to his political activities, freedom of expression and his support for the prisoners and martyrs.
Israel arrested Al-Qeq on 21 November 2015 from his home and put him under administrative detention for six months. He immediately went on hunger strike for 94 consecutive days. During this time Israel committed to releasing him at the end of the six-month term.