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Brutality in an Age of Human RightsActivism and Counterinsurgency at the End of the British Empire$
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Brian Drohan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714658

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714658.001.0001

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date: 31 March 2020

“Hunger War”

“Hunger War”

Humanitarian Rights and the Radfan Campaign

(p.81) Chapter 3 “Hunger War”
Brutality in an Age of Human Rights

Brian Drohan

Cornell University Press

Chapter three examines the 1964 Radfan campaign. During the campaign, security forces purposefully targeted civilian livelihoods by driving the population from their homes, burning food stores, destroying crops, and killing livestock. These actions created a humanitarian crisis as thousands of refugees fled the violence. With help from a new NGO led by Peter Benenson called Amnesty International, representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sought permission to provide humanitarian aid in the Radfan, but British officials tried to prevent the ICRC from accessing the region. When ICRC access proved impossible to prevent, British authorities reacted by taking advantage of it by promoting the propaganda value of ICRC prison inspections that allowed British officials to claim that they treated detainees humanely.

Keywords:   Radfan, Amnesty International, Peter Benenson, International Committee of the Red Cross, refugees, humanitarian aid

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