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Sri Lanka – Detainees released under ICRC auspices

28-09-2002 News Release 02/55

On 28 September the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) released a total of 20 detainees under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Prior to this operation the ICRC had spoken in private with each of the detainees, all of whom were given the opportunity to choose their place of release.

Seven detainees were handed over to the government and 11 to the LTTE in Omanthai, north of Vavuniya, in the presence of their families. The two other detainees were reunited with their families in Colombo.

The group comprised seven Sri Lankan army and navy personnel, who had been captured by the LTTE in 1993 and 1994, and 13 persons held by the government for up to nine years under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The ICRC had visited all of them during their captivity in order to check on their conditions of detention.