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Protesters shut down ICRC's al-Bireh office in solidarity with al-Qiq

Feb. 8, 2016 3:04 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 9, 2016 12:59 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- A group of protesters shut down the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the city of al-Bireh city near Ramallah in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq on Monday morning.

The demonstration came a day after ICRC temporarily shut down its office in Gaza City after Palestinian activists supporting al-Qiq attempted to break in.

Al-Qiq, a 33-year-old journalist, initially went on hunger strike in late November to protest the torture and ill-treatment he said he faced in Israeli custody.

However, his protest quickly developed into another bid to challenge Israel's use of administrative detention -- internment without trial or charge.

In a statement received by Ma’an, the protesters in al-Bireh said they forcibly closed the ICRC office to protest “the silence by international community organizations -- namely the ICRC in Palestine -- about al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike in Israeli custody for 76 days.”

This silence, the statement said, amounted to complicity of the international community with Israel in the “execution of al-Qiq.”

The statement urged ICRC directors in Jerusalem, Gaza and Tel Aviv to visit al-Qiq in the hospital rather than “being fooled by misguiding decisions of Israeli courts.”
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