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Morocco/Western Sahara: Moroccans held by Polisario Front receive ICRC visits

26-11-1997 News Release 97/47

As part of the ICRC's activities to aid those held prisoner in connection with the Western Sahara conflict, five delegates including a doctor visited 1,227 Moroccan prisoners detained by the Polisario Front near Tindouf, Algeria. During the visits, which took place between 14 and 22 November, all prisoners who so wished were able to send a Red Cross message and a photo to their families.

Under agreements reached between the ICRC and the Polisario Front, delegates have been authorized to see all 1,905 registered prisoners over a period of one year.

These men's situation is a matter of deep humanitarian concern for the ICRC. Most have spent over 15 years in captivity. The organization would like to see a solution that provides for their speedy repatriation as well as the return of Sahrawi refugees.

The next visit to the prisoners is due to take place in March 1998.