Why has the ICRC not yet been given access to coalition POWs in the hands of the Iraqi authorities?
Under the Third Geneva Convention, the ICRC is entitled to visit all prisoners of war (POWs). So far it has registered 3,851 Iraqi POWs held by the coalition forces. It has asked the Iraqi authorities for access to persons detained under their responsibility and the Iraqi authorities have assured the ICRC that they would abide by the Third Geneva Convention.
Regrettably, however, the ICRC has not yet been given access to coalition POWs and it has received no explanation for this delay.
The ICRC would like to stress once more that full responsibility for the well-being of these prisoners rests with the Iraqi authorities. It understands and sympathizes with the anguish of the prisoners'families and will continue to make every effort to gain access to coalition POWs.