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Iran/Iraq: Iraqi prisoners released

23-01-2002 News Release 02/05

Geneva/Baghdad (ICRC) – On 21, 22 and 23 January, 507 Iraqi prisoners of war (POWs) from the Iran-Iraq conflict and 188 Iraqi servicemen unaccounted for since the Gulf war and held in Iran were repatriated from Iran to Iraq under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The operation took place at the Mundharieh/Khosravi checkpoint on the border between the two countries, under the supervision of ICRC staff. In accordance with the organization's usual procedures, ICRC delegates had registered the prisoners beforehand and spoken privately with each of them to make sure they were returning home of their own free will.

This operation, the tenth of its kind, is part of a process started in April 1998 with the aim of repatriating all the remaining POWs from the Iran-Iraq conflict who wish to return home and elucidating the fate of prisoners whose names had been submitted to the ICRC by the two countries. In order to complete the process as soon as possible, the ICRC is holding intensive talks with both countries in the context of their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Since the Iran/Iraq conflict began in 1980, the ICRC has supervised the repatriation of almost 95,000 POWs on both sides.


Iran-Iraq conflict. Tehran. Arrival of repatriated Iranian prisoners, 25/08/1981

Ref. IRIQ-N-00014-14

Copyright © ICRC/GASSMANN, Thierry


Iran-Iraq conflict. Baghdad. Arrival of 52 Iraqi prisoners of war repatriated by the ICRC, 24/11/1988

Ref. IRIQ-N-00025-09

Copyright © ICRC/GASSMANN, Thierry