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India: report on ICRC visits to detainees in Jammu and Kashmir

03-07-1996 News Release 96/26

On 26 June, in New Delhi, the ICRC officially submitted to the Indian government a first report on its preliminary findings during a series of visits to detention centres holding Kashmiri militants. The visits took place in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding signed on 22 June last year stipulating that the ICRC would be allowed to visit all individuals arrested, detained or imprisoned in connection with the situation prevailing in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The report submitted to the Indian authorities covers the period from 30 October 1995, when the visits began, to 15 April 1996.

During this period ICRC delegates had access to 2,234 detainees. They carried out 36 visits to 27 places of detention, including central jails outside Jammu and Kashmir where some of the militants are being held.

ICRC reports on visits to detention centres are confidential documents intended only for the authorities to whom they are submitted. The Indian Home Secretary, Mr K. Padmanabhaiah, stated: " The recommendations made in the ICRC report relate to the treatment and interrogation of the detainees, the general conditions of detention, and the medical facilities that are available to the detainees. The recommendations include the need to make specific budget allocations to create sufficient capacity to house properly all detainees, to improve the upkeep of places of detention, and to provide adequate medical care for detainees " .