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Iran/Iraq: Further 480 Iraqi prisoners released

04-05-2000 News Release 00/09

Geneva (ICRC) - On 4 May, 480 Iraqi prisoners of war held in Iran were repatriated under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The operation took place under the supervision of ICRC staff at the Mundharieh/Khosravi checkpoint on the border between the two countries. In accordance with the organization's customary working procedures, ICRC delegates had previously registered and held private interviews with each of the prisoners in order to ensure that he was returning home of his own free will.

Following by less that one month the previous repatriation, which enabled 1,999 Iraqi POWs to go home, this is the sixth such release and is part of a process launched in April 1998 with the aim of repatriating all remaining POWs from the Iran/Iraq war who wish to return to their respective countries. Since then, 8,991 Iraqi POWs have returned to Iraq while three Iranian POWs and 369 civilian detainees have gone back to Iran.

Since the Iran/Iraq conflict began in 1980, the ICRC has supervised the repatriation of more than 97,500 POWs on both sides.