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Afghanistan : ICRC gains access to Taliban places of detention

09-05-1995 News Release 18

From 16 to 21 April the ICRC conducted a first series of visits to 651 prisoners held by the Taliban militia in four places of detention in Kandahar province. The ICRC also received authorization to visit other Taliban places of detention at a later date in the provinces of Ghazni, Helmand, Logar and Wardak.

This means that the ICRC can now carry out its protection activities for all the main parties to the conflict in Afghanistan. Despite difficulties linked to military operations in the country, the first four months of 1995 saw a number of other positive developments. Among these was authorization for the ICRC to conduct regular visits to detainees held by the security services in Kabul. In the north of the country, the ICRC has also been able to see prisoners captured by General Dostom's Jumbesh-i-Melli. 

So far this year the ICRC has conducted 43 visits in 28 places of detention (twice as many as in 1994) in 14 Afghan provinces, where its delegates registered 2,163 prisoners. The detainees have been able to contact their families thanks to Red Cross messages and have received medical and other aid (mainly medicines, blankets and soap).