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Sudan: release of 21 prisoners

05-12-2001 News Release 01/64

Khartoum/Geneva (ICRC) – On 5 December, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) handed over to the Sudanese government in Khartoum 21 prisoners recently released by the Sudan People's Democratic Front (SPDF). The day before, these prisoners, members of the Sudanese armed forces, had been turned over to the ICRC by the SPDF in Pagak, Upper Nile, where they were being held. With the consent of all concerned, the released prisoners were flown from Pagak to Khartoum via Lokichokio, Kenya, aboard an ICRC plane.

The 21 prisoners had all been registered and regularly visited by the ICRC during their captivity. In accordance with the organization's customary procedures, ICRC delegates spoke with each of them in private to ensure that they were returning home of their own free will.

ICRC delegates regularly visit persons held by the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPDF in connection with the conflict and monitor their conditions of detention in accordance with the rules of international humanitarian law. During these visits, the detainees are also given the opportunity to send Red Cross messages to their families.