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North Africa: Visit to Moroccan prisoners held by Polisario Front

24-12-2003 News Release 03/164

Between 2 and 16 December, an ICRC team including a doctor visited Moroccan prisoners in the hands of the Polisario Front. The delegates spoke individually with 291 of the 614 prisoners still being held (188 of whom have been in captivity for over 20 years).

The purpose of the visit was to assess their conditions of captivity and monitor their physical and mental health.

As always during the ICRC's visits, the detaining authorities distributed parcels containing blankets and hygiene items provided by the organization. The prisoners also received medicines. Finally, the delegates collected 1,900 Red Cross messages (brief personal messages to relatives).

The ICRC remains acutely concerned about these prisoners'physical and mental health and once again appeals for them to be released without delay, in accordance with international humanitarian law.


 For further information, please contact:  

 Ian Piper, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++41 22 730 20 63