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Israeli hospital report confirms hunger-striker's critical condition

Jan. 30, 2016 7:58 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2016 10:43 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A report by an Israeli hospital confirmed on Saturday the gravely deteriorating health condition of hunger-striking prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq.

Al-Qiq has been in the Israeli HaEmek hospital in Afula since his health started worsening. The Palestinian journalist has been on hunger strike for 68 days to protest his administrative detention -- internment without trial or charge.

According to the HaEmek report, al-Qiq has lost his ability to speak and is now communicating through signs.

However, it specified that despite his dire condition, al-Qiq was still conscious and refusing medical treatment.

In a statement from released earlier on Saturday, al-Qiq reiterated his commitment to his hunger strike to protest his treatment in Israeli detention.

“When people are been treated tyrannically, they are no longer worried about the consequences even if the toll is life. Thus, I entrusted myself in God’s hands and I will continue with this hunger strike, until martyrdom or freedom,” al-Qiq said.

The Israeli Supreme Court delayed on Wednesday its decision on whether or not to release al-Qiq, approving to continue the detainee’s administrative detention until his medical condition had been examined.

HaEmek’s report is the first such daily report on al-Qiq’s health since the court order. According to Jawad Boulos, the head of the legal unit of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, this was the first time that HaEmek confirmed the gravity of al-Qiq’s health condition.

Earlier this month, Al-Qiq was reportedly tied to a bed and forcefully held down by prison wardens while a member of the medical staff administered the hunger-striker an infusion of salts and vitamins, according to medical rights group Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI).

The group said that al-Qiq remained tied to the bed and hooked up to the IV drip, while pleading for its removal, for four days.

Investigations by Amnesty International also revealed that al-Qiq was tortured during investigations that immediately followed his detention.
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