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Man Injured in Attack on Red Cross Office in Misurata
12/06/2012 20:17:00
An attack at the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, in the Libyan city of Misurata left no casualties but a man, the son of the owner of the offices, who is living in the compound was injured.

A spokesman for the ICRC spokesman said: "The ICRC confirms that an explosion occurred in our Misurata office at 3.50 am on June 12. The nature of the explosion is not verified yet, but the authorities were informed and were on site early at five in the morning."

Though nobody has as yet claimed responsibility for the attack, a group calling itself the Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman Brigade claimed it carried a similar attack last month on the ICRC headquarters in Benghazi.

The group is named after an Egyptian known in the Arab world as "the blind sheikh" who is serving a life sentence in the US in connection with the bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York in 1993.

A few days ago, on June 2, the group issued a statement accusing the ICRC of Christian evangelistic activities in Libya, ordered the aid group to remove all "Christian" signs from its material and cease any evangelistic activity.

The ICRC's mission statement says it is "an impartial, neutral and independent organisation" with an "exclusively humanitarian mission".

The truth is, that the emblem of the Red Cross has nothing to do with religion. The idea of a single symbol, red cross and red crescent emblems were adopted by all countries and taken up in Article 9 of the draft covenant prepared by the International Committee for the October 1863 Conference that gave birth to the Red Cross. The Red Cross now exist in 186 countries, and the Crescent, adopted at the origin of the Geneva Conventions is now binding on 194 States.

There is nothing in the preparatory documents to suggest that the October 1863 Conference had the slightest intention of conferring any religious significance whatsoever on the distinctive sign for volunteer nurses and military medical services, nor that it was at all aware that any religious significance could be attached to the emblem, since the aim of the founders of the Red Cross was precisely to set up an institution which would transcend national borders and religious differences.

In fact, in successive conflicts and over the years, millions of victims of war or natural calamities - the wounded, the shipwrecked, prisoners, refugees and disaster-stricken populations - have seen the red cross and red crescent emblems as symbols of protection against the violence of warfare or the arbitrary behaviour of the enemy, the promise of a helping hand in the midst of general distress and hope for renewed solidarity.
Comment:
Only a serious pictorially driven advertising campaign in Arabic can solve this misunderstanding.
Directly targeted to brigades operating all over Libya ideally even in the remote areas via phone messages.
Press releases to the "western world" does no effect at all.
Comment:
Addition:
The emblem (flag) of Switzerland is a white cross in a red field.
The Red Cross emblem results from this: it's the same emblem, the colours just the other way round: a red cross in a white field.
 

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