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Activists close Red Cross office on 35th day of hunger strike

May 28, 2014 11:36 P.M. (Updated: May 29, 2014 9:30 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian activists on Wednesday closed the Red Cross' al-Bireh office in protest against the organization's "silence" regarding an ongoing prisoners' hunger strike, the organizers said.

"Today we are shutting down the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross because it has failed to play the role it should to protect Palestinian prisoners, especially hunger strikers," the organizers said.

Protesters blocked the doors of the office and denied entry to employees.

"Silence is complicity," the activists said in a statement.

The Red Cross and other international organizations "who are responsible for ensuring human dignity and rights of Palestinian prisoners as prescribed by their mandate" have failed to speak out in support of hundreds of hunger striking prisoners, the statement said.

Activists demanded "a clear statement (from the Red Cross) that administrative detention ... is considered a war crime and crime against humanity due to its widespread and systematic use" by Israel against Palestinians.

Over 200 Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Israeli jails in solidarity with dozens of administrative detainees who have been refusing meals since April 24.

Strikers are demanding Israel stop imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial in a policy known as "administrative detention," a policy based on legislation from the British Mandate period.
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