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Uzbekistan: ICRC decides to terminate visits to detainees

12-04-2013 News Release 13/64

Tashkent/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has decided to terminate all visits to detainees in Uzbekistan, after suspending them for several months.

"In Uzbekistan we are unable to follow our standard working procedures when we visit detainees to assess the conditions in which they are being held and the treatment they are receiving," said Yves Daccord, director-general of the ICRC. "As a result, we cannot address humanitarian issues and that renders any visits pointless." The director-general stressed that the decision to terminate visits to places of detention is a rare occurrence and is never taken lightly.

All over the world, the ICRC conducts its visits to detainees with the aim of improving their situation and easing their suffering.

''Visiting all detainees of ICRC concern and speaking to them in private – without witnesses – are essential preconditions for the effective protection of detainees," said Mr Daccord. "Visits must have a meaningful impact on detention conditions, and dialogue with the detaining authorities must be constructive. And that's not the case in Uzbekistan."

The ICRC visited detainees in Uzbekistan between 2001 and 2004, during a six-month trial period in 2008, and from 2009 to October 2012.

The organization will continue to promote international humanitarian law among the authorities and within the armed forces and academic circles in the country, and to help the Red Crescent Society of Uzbekistan to prepare for emergencies.

For further information, please contact:
David-Pierre Marquet, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 02 or +41 79 536 92 48
Pierre-Emmanuel Ducruet, ICRC Tashkent (for English, Russian, Spanish and French), tel: +998 93 399 03 20