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Yemen: ICRC visits detained soldiers in Abyan

19-03-2012 News Release 12/56

Sana'a/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began a two-day visit yesterday to 72 government soldiers detained by Ansar al-Sharia in Abyan governorate.

The soldiers were captured during the fighting that erupted more than 10 days ago and that has left scores of people wounded or dead.

"Our aim on this first visit is to check on the conditions of detention and the treatment the detainees are receiving," said Eric Marclay, the head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen.  "Their rights must be respected and they must be treated humanely in all circumstances, as stipulated in international humanitarian law, and the ICRC must be allowed to repeat its visits to them as long as they remain in detention."

The captured soldiers have been registered and an ICRC doctor brought medical supplies for treating the wounded, all of whom are now fully stabilized.

In the past week the ICRC had already provided medical treatment for wounded soldiers and had called on all parties to give it immediate access to the detainees. Visits to detainees are being carried out in accordance with the ICRC's customary working procedures and in the framework of visits the organization has conducted in Yemen since 2010. In line with standard practice wherever the ICRC visits places of detention, its findings and recommendations are confidential and are shared solely with those in charge.

For further information, please contact:
Ammar Ammar, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 73 607 19 67
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 41 or +41 79 536 92 57