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Iraq: First ICRC visit to detainees at newly opened facility in Baghdad

03-10-2006 News Release 06/112

Geneva/Baghdad (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has completed its first visit to people held under American authority at the newly extended Camp Cropper internment facility in Baghdad.

Of the approximately 3,550 people held there, most were recently transferred from Abu Ghraib.

A team of 16 delegates, including a medical doctor, carried out the visit in accordance with the ICRC's standard procedures. The delegates were authorized to talk in private to persons of their choice, to visit all the premises and to discuss detention-related issues with the authorities. The detainees were given the opportunity to write messages to their families.

Assessing the conditions of detention of people deprived of their liberty remains a priority for the ICRC in Iraq despite the constraints imposed by the difficult security situation. Since April 2003, the ICRC has been regularly visiting those held in permanent internment facilities under American and British authority and in more than 20 places of detention under the regional Kurdish authority.

Since the beginning of this year, over 50 visits have been carried out to various places of detention and an average of 6,000 Red Cross messages (brief personal messages) between detainees and their families have been forwarded each month. Since October 2005, the ICRC has paid for more than 15,500 trips by individuals visiting relatives held at Camp Bucca, near Basra.

 
For further information, please contact:
  Nada Doumani, ICRC Baghdad, tel: +962 777 399 614
  Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2590 or +41 79 251 9318