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Panama: ICRC visits detainees from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

25-07-2013 News Release 130/13

Geneva/Mexico (ICRC) – At the request of the Panamanian authorities, staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea being held at Fort Sherman military base on 24 July.

The ICRC personnel included a medical expert and an interpreter.

"Visits of this kind are conducted for humanitarian reasons," said Karl Mattli, head of the ICRC’s regional delegation in Mexico. "ICRC delegates assess the conditions of detention and treatment, and check whether the detainees' basic needs are being met in accordance with international regulations. These include access to medical attention. ICRC staff also hold private one-to-one interviews with the detainees."

In keeping with the ICRC's customary working procedures, delegates only discuss findings and recommendations regarding detainee welfare with the authorities concerned, on a strictly bilateral and confidential basis.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization that visits people deprived of their liberty in more than 90 countries.

For further information, please contact:
Jan Nicolas Schuett, ICRC Mexico, tel: +52 55 48 50 86 60
Ewan Watson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 244 64 70