First Red Cross visit for Palestinian hunger strike leader

Palestinian activists stand around a 5x4 meter mosaic portrait of Marwan Barghouti near an Israeli military installation in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AP)
Updated 11 May 2017
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First Red Cross visit for Palestinian hunger strike leader

JERUSALEM: The Red Cross visited the leader of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails on Thursday for the first time since the strike began, a spokesman said.
A delegate from the International Committee of the Red Cross visited strike leader Marwan Barghouti on Thursday morning, the spokesman told AFP, the first such visit since the strike began 25 days ago.
The spokesman was unable to provide an update on his health “in accordance with the principles of medical confidentiality.”
The ICRC had been allowed access to other prisoners on hunger strike, but Israel had been restricting access to Barghouti.
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners began refusing food on April 17, issuing a list of demands including better medical services, family visits and more dignified detention conditions.
Israel says conditions meet all international standards.
Barghouti, a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah party and a highly popular figure among Palestinians, is serving five life sentences over his role in the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
Earlier this week, Israel produced footage they said showed him secretly breaking his fast in his cell.
His wife Fadwa rejected the footage as fake, saying it was “intended to break the morale of prisoners.”


Migrants forced off ship after refusing to return to Libya

Updated 49 min 50 sec ago
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Migrants forced off ship after refusing to return to Libya

  • The migrants had refused to disembark, saying Libya is too dangerous for them
  • “This is the worst possible conclusion to the desperate plea of the people”

CAIRO: An international rights group says Libyan authorities have forcibly removed dozens of migrants who had barricaded themselves in a container ship in the port city of Misrata for the past 10 days after being picked up at sea.
The migrants had refused to disembark, saying Libya is too dangerous for them.
Human Rights Watch says Wednesday some migrants were taken to hospital late Tuesday while others were taken to a detention center in Misrata.
The migrants were attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and were rescued by a cargo ship, Nivin, that brought them to Libya.
Judith Sunderland of HRW says “this is the worst possible conclusion to the desperate plea of the people on board the Nivin to avoid inhuman detention in Libya.”