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Niger: Detainees released under ICRC auspices

04-02-2008 News Release 08/19

Geneva / Dakar (ICRC) – As part of its humanitarian work in the Republic of the Niger, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sent staff to the Aïr region from 26 January till 1 February.

In the course of their mission they visited 33 persons, most of them members of the Niger armed forces being held by the Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice (MNJ).

Under ICRC auspices, two detainees requiring urgent medical care were released and transferred to Arlit, where they were placed in the care of the authorities.

During their visit, the ICRC delegates spoke in private with the detainees and furnished medical aid as well as blankets, clothing, hygiene items, tea and sugar. The detainees were also able to speak with their families by means of a satellite telephone provided by the ICRC and were able to write Red Cross messages (brief, personal messages to loved ones).

This ICRC mission was preceded by others in June and July of last year, during which delegates had access to persons detained by the MNJ and facilitated the release of 34 of them (33 members of the Niger military and a Chinese national).

The ICRC will continue to show concern about the welfare of people detained by the MNJ. It reminds the parties concerned that they are obliged to respect the principles of humanity. In particular, they must spare the civilian population.

In September, the ICRC opened an office in Agadez and is working in close conjunction with the Red Cross Society of Niger.

  For further information, please contact:
  Juan Coderque, CICR Dakar, tel +221 77 450 10 02
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel +41 22 730 2458 or + 41 79 217 32 24