Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:58AM
A Palestinian man lying on a bed wears a mask depicting hunger striking Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq, on February 19, 2016. (Photos by AFP)
A Palestinian man lying on a bed wears a mask depicting hunger striking Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq, on February 19, 2016. (Photos by AFP)

Hunger striking Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq is being held in a “grave-like” cell by Israeli authorities, says his lawyer.    

Qiq was released from an Israeli prison last year in May, after going on hunger strike for 94 days in protest to his detention without trial or charges.

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He was later detained in January after taking part in a protest in the West Bank city of Bethlehem and placed back into administrative detention.     

His lawyer, Khalid Zabarqa, was quoted by the Ma'an news agency on Sunday as saying that he was able to visit Qiq in prison ten days after filing an official request.

“Al-Qiq is held in a small cell measuring barely four square meters and lacking the minimum basic living requirements," he said, adding that Israeli prison authorities had "refused to provide al-Qiq with winter clothes and sheets, leaving him unable to sleep due to low temperatures."    

While noting that Qiq was also suffering from dizziness, loss of balance, and back pain, he stressed that Israel was deliberately forcing hard conditions on him so that he would end his hunger strike.

Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq on hunger strike is seen in an Israeli hospital on February 5, 2016. 

There are reportedly more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

The Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.

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