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Int'l press body launches global appeal to release of Palestinian journalist from Israeli jail

BRUSSELS, Feb 17 (KUNA) -- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called here Wednesday on its affiliates worldwide to join their sister union in Palestine, the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate, to demand the release OF journalist Mohammad al-Qiq who entered his 83rd day on hunger strike in an Israeli jail.
An IFJ statement noted that al-Qiq, currently hospitalised at the Emek Medical Center in Afula, is at risk of heart attack, stroke or total organ failure as he has been taking only water and refused all treatments.
"Mohammed is now in a critical situation and the IFJ calls on journalists unions and their members worldwide to join forces with his wife Faihaa and the union to save his life," said IFJ president, Jim Boumelha.
Al-Qiq, a news reporter for Saudi channel Al Majd, has refused food and medical treatment since November 24, three days after he was arrested. He went on hunger strike to protest a six-month sentence under Israel's controversial administrative detention law that allows authorities to detain individuals indefinitely without charge or trial if they are deemed a security threat.
"Israel's defense minister can still intervene at this stage and release Mohamed from detention," added Boumelha.
The IFJ urged all unions under its umbrella to write immediately to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to demand that al-Qiq is set free forthwith and to participate in any activity, demonstrations and pickets to help save his life.
The Brussels-based IFJ represents around 600,000 journalists across 139 countries worldwide. (end) nk.hb