U.N. worried about health of hunger-striking Palestinian detainees

UNITED NATIONS Fri Jun 6, 2014 6:05pm EDT

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference at the UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) base in Juba May 6, 2014.   REUTERS/Andreea Campeanu

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference at the UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) base in Juba May 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concerns on Friday about the worsening health of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli detention and demanded that they either be formally charged or released immediately.

Several dozen Palestinians on hunger strike, protesting Israel's use of administrative detention to keep them behind bars, have been taken to hospital.

"The Secretary-General is concerned about reports regarding the deteriorating health of Palestinian administrative detainees who have been on hunger strike for over a month," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

"He reiterates his long-standing position that administrative detainees should be charged or released without delay," he said.

Israel's Prisons Service said 65 Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners were in hospitals, though none was in critical condition and all were conscious. The Palestinians put the number of prisoners who had required hospital care at 78.

(Reporting By Louis Charbonneau in New York and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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