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Nepal: Eighteen detainees released under ICRC auspices

19-07-2005 News Release 05/63

On 18 July, 18 security personnel were released by the Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist (CPN-M) and handed over to the ICRC.

The men – six from the Royal Nepalese Army and 12 from the Nepal Police – had been captured in Khotang and Bhojpur districts during encounters between security forces and members of the CPN-M on 19 and 22 June. The operation took place in Sindhuli district, in central Nepal, in the presence of representatives of the CPN-M and the ICRC.

Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary recognized by both parties to the conflict, the ICRC conducted the operation in accordance with its standard procedures. A team of four delegates, including a doctor, spoke with each of the 18 detainees in private before their release. The delegates then travelled with them to Janakpur (Dhanusha district), where they were placed in the care of the chief district officer.

The ICRC has been working with the parties to the conflict in Nepal since 1998 as an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organization whose purpose is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence. It took part in similar release operations in October 2001, when 25 policemen were returned to the Nepal Police in Nepalgunj, and in 2004, when in two separate events a total of 76 members of the Nepal Police, the Royal Nepalese Army and the civil service were released. On 29 April 2005, the ICRC facilitated the release of the chief district officer and the local development officer of Arghakhanchi. More recently, on 6 June, eight security personnel were released under ICRC auspices.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Stéphane Jacquier, ICRC Kathmandu, tel. +977 1 44 82 285  

 Ian Piper, ICRC Geneva, +41 22 730 2063 or +41 79 217 3216