Anderson MEP demands EU action on Hunger-striking Palestinian Journalist

Speaking to the press in Brussels today Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson called on the EU Parliament to act immediately to pressure the Israeli government to release hunger-striking Palestinian Journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq

Ms Anderson said:

“Today I reiterate the demand of International Human Rights organisations and campaigners that the EU take immediate action to save the life of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq.

“Mr Al-Qeeq has been on hunger strike for 92 days, in protest against his unjust detention and torture at the hands of the Israeli authorities.

His doctors say he is in a critical condition, has lost his hearing and ability to speak and is lapsing in and out of consciousness. He is in severe pain and is on the verge of death.

“This is a tragic and totally unnecessary situation for a young man, only 33 years of age, with a wife and two young children.

“Mohammed Al-Qeeq was working as a correspondent for Saudi Arabia’s Almajd television network when he was arrested at his home in Ramallah on November 21 in the middle of the night. Since then, he has been held under Israel’s cruel “administrative detention” laws, which allow them to hold prisoners for prolonged periods without charge or trial.

“To add insult to injury, the Israeli authorities have refused to allow his family to visit him in hospital, and attempts have been made to force feed him against his will. Despite supposedly “suspending” his administrative detention, Israel refuses to allow him transfer to Al-Makassed hospital in the West Bank.

“I have recently returned from a visit to Palestine as Chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine.

“The situation there is a powder keg. Palestinians are losing faith in the peace process and in the EU with its refusal to act authoritatively against Israeli blatant refusal to accept international human rights norms and particular its inaction in cases such as that of Mohammed Al-Qeeq.

“The EU and the international community must act now to restore our credibility by demanding Mohammed Al-Qeeq’s immediate release.”