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Mass hunger strike at Egypt's infamous Scorpion prison

Mass hunger strike in infamous Egyptian prisonAt least 32 prisoners held inside one of Egypt's most notorious jails have gone on a mass hunger strike to highlight alleged abuses, including the beating of family members who come to visit.

Dubbed by activists "Egypt's Guantanamo", prisoners at the maximum security al-Aqrab prison about 20km south of Cairo began refusing food last month, according to a group of family members of al-Aqrab detainees.

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Israel demolishes Palestinian-owned homes in West Bank

Isrel destroys homes in West BankIsraeli forces have demolished dozens of structures including a school in the northern West Bank this week, leaving 10 families homeless, according to a new United Nations report.

In as statement issued on Friday, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid said the demolitions took place on Wednesday in the village of Khirbet Tana, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

In total, 41 buildings were destroyed, displacing 36 Palestinians including 11 children, the UN said.

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Berta Cáceres, Honduran environment and human rights activist, murdered

Berta Caceres murdered in HondurasBerta Cáceres, the Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, has been murdered, barely a week after she was threatened for opposing a hydroelectric project.

Her death prompted international outrage at the murderous treatment of campaigners in Honduras, as well as a flood of tributes to a prominent and courageous defender of the natural world.

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Palestinian journalist ends hunger strike

Palestinian journalist ends hunger strikeA Palestinian activist and journalist has ended his three-month hunger strike and will be released in three months.

The family of Mohammad al-Qeeq, who worked for a Saudi media outlet, announced on Friday that he was ending his fast.
Fayha, Qeeq's wife, described the announcement as "a very big victory for us and for him".

Under a deal with Israel, he will remain in custody until May 21, but his so-called administrative detention will not be renewed after that.

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Obama: Guantanamo Bay undermines security, must be closed ‘once and for all’

GitmoPresident Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed to “once and for all” close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and transfer the most detainees to a facility in the U.S., submitting a plan short on specifics and unlikely to make headway with opponents in Congress.

Obama cast his proposal, released Tuesday after months of delay, as a moment to turn the page on a facility that for years has raised nettlesome legal questions, become a recruitment tool for violent extremists and garnered strong opposition from some allies abroad.

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Palestinian detainee on hunger strike reaches 89 days

Israeli journalist hunger strike continuesA Palestinian detainee has entered uncharted medical territory with a hunger strike of 89 days — longer than protest fasts by other Palestinians or by prisoners in Northern Ireland in 1981, an advocacy group said Monday.

Mohammed Al-Qeq, a news reporter for Saudi channel Al Majd, is under observation at an Israeli hospital, but has refused all treatment unless he is released from Israeli custody.

A doctor who visited him earlier this month described his condition as "extremely grave" and said Qeq, 33, could barely speak or even hear.

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DOD Opens Afghan Child Sex Abuse Probe

Afghan child sex probeAfter months of preliminary research, the Pentagon's Inspector General is launching a full-scale investigation into how U.S. troops and commanders handled repeated allegations that Afghan men, particularly Afghan military and police leaders, had sexually abused children.

The IG's "research project" that began in October has revealed sufficient information to warrant conducting a "full assessment," according to a Feb. 19 letter to top Defense Department officials from Kenneth Moorefield, the deputy inspector general for special plans and operations.

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