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Paraguay: ICRC signs detainee visits agreement

08-11-2001 News Release 01/44

On 31 October, the ICRC signed a cooperation agreement with the government of Paraguay covering visits by ICRC delegates to security detainees.

The agreement gives official status to the ICRC’s humanitarian visits to persons detained on suspicion of offences related to political disputes or in connection with the security situation in the interior of the country.

“Here, as everywhere else in the world, our main concerns are physical detention conditions and the way prisoners are treated at every stage of their detention”, explained Gérard Peytrignet, ICRC regional delegate for southern South America.

The ICRC offered its services to the government of Paraguay following an attempted coup in May 2000 and the subsequent detention of approximately one hundred persons accused of having participated in the coup. Since then, ICRC delegates based in Buenos Aires have visited the detainees on a number of occasions.

During his recent visit to Paraguay, the ICRC regional delegate once again visited 22 persons being held in a military prison – some of the 45 detainees who fall within the ICRC’s remit.