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Al-Qeeq held in 'grave-like' prison cell, lawyer says

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Happy to be home. Muhammad Al-Qeeq spends time with his family, after his release from an Israeli prison, before being re-arrested [ApaImages]

Imprisoned Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qeeq, who has been on hunger strike for two weeks, has been held by Israel in a "grave-like" prison cell, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Al-Qeeq, who lives in Ramallah and is originally from Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was released from prison in May last year after having gone without food for 94 days in protest against being held in administrative detention.

However, Al-Qeeq was detained again in mid-January after he participated in a protest in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem demanding the release of the bodies of slain Palestinians held in Israeli custody. He is being held under administrative detention once again.

Read: Al-Qeq starts new hunger strike in Israeli jail

Al-Qeeq's lawyer, Khalid Zabarqa, told Ma'an that he was finally allowed to visit Al-Qeeq yesterday, after awaiting a response from Israeli intelligence for ten days to grant him access to the detainee at the Kishon Detention Centre in northern Israel.

"Al-Qeeq is held in a small cell measuring barely four square metres and lacking the minimum basic living requirements," Zabarqa said, adding that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) had "refused to provide Al-Qeq with winter clothes and sheets, leaving him unable to sleep due to low temperatures."

He added that Al-Qeeq was also suffering from dizziness, loss of balance and back pain.

Israel is deliberately imposing tough detention conditions on Al-Qeeq to coerce him into ending his hunger strike, Zabarqa claimed.

According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun, Israeli authorities have not pressed charges against Al-Qeeq, although they had earlier expressed that they were investigating him for alleged "incitement" on social media, amid a crackdown on freedom of expression among Palestinian activists and journalists.

Never surrender, says freed Palestinian hunger-striker [before being re-arrested]

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