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Iraq: workshop on services in Iraqi correctional facilities

22-10-2009 News Release

Baghdad (ICRC) – In cooperation with the Iraqi justice and health ministries, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a workshop in Baghdad on 20-21 October to discuss health care and other services provided in Iraqi correctional facilities.

The workshop brought together participants from the justice, health and human rights ministries and from the ICRC.

" Detainees have the right to live in decent conditions, to receive proper health care and to be treated humanely, no matter what the charges against them might be, " said Carole Pittet, the ICRC's coordinator for detainee-welfare activities in Iraq. " These are their basic rights. When people are deprived of their freedom they should not be deprived of their rights. "

The participants exchanged ideas on how to provide services and promote proper management of the medical-care system in Iraqi prisons. " The mental and physical well-being of the detainees is critically important, " said Luca Falqui, an ICRC physician who visits places of detention in Iraq. " If detainees live in a healthy environment, there is less risk that disease will develop or spread. That is good not only for the detainees themselves but also for the detaining authorities. "

Since the end of 2007, the ICRC has been visiting detainees held under the authority of the Iraqi ministries of justice, defence, interior, and labour and social affairs. In 2009, it has so visited around 16,000 detainees in 22 places of detention in the country. In addition to monitoring treatment and conditions of detention, the ICRC helps to restore and maintain contact between detainees and their families.

For further information, please contact:
  Dibeh Fakhr, ICRC Iraq, tel: +962 777 399 614 or +962 6 552 39 94