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Iran / Iraq: Twenty Iraqi prisoners of war released

19-11-2002 News Release 02/67

Geneva/Baghdad (ICRC) - On 18 November, 20 Iraqi prisoners of war from the Iran-Iraq conflict were repatriated from Iran under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The operation took place at the Mundharieh/Khosravi checkpoint on the border between the two countries. It was supervised by two ICRC delegates who had previously registered and spoken privately with each of the prisoners to make sure they were returning to Iraq of their own free will.

The ICRC has been involved in the process of repatriation since 1988 and so far has supervised the return to their countries of almost 95,000 prisoners on both sides. In order to complete this process and ascertain the fate of those unaccounted for, the ICRC is holding intensive talks with both countries in the context of their obligations under international humanitarian law.