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Madagascar: ICRC commences visits to people deprived of their liberty

30-08-2002 News Release 02/51

Geneva (ICRC) – This Friday, two delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) started visits in Antananarivo to people detained in connection with the political crisis that rocked the country between December 2001 and July 2002.

Following the visits, the ICRC will submit its observations and recommendations to the government of Madagascar in the form of confidential reports.

The visits follow the signing of an agreement between the ICRC and the government authorizing the ICRC to work in accordance with its standard procedures. Key points of the agreement included granting the ICRC unrestricted access to all places of detention and authorizing its delegates to talk in private with any person they chose. The ICRC has also received guarantees that it can repeat its visits as often as it considers necessary.

The ICRC welcomes the government of Madagascar’s favourable response to its offer of services. During the signing of the agreement, on 22 August, Keeper of the Seals and Minister of Justice Alice Rajaonah said cooperation with the ICRC would be “very helpful in improving places of detention”.