ICRC given access to Damascus prison for 1st time
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 00:44
  
Geneva: The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday it was for the first time granted access to a Syrian detention centre.

"The Syrian authorities have granted the ICRC access to a place of detention for the first time," ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger, who held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today, said in a statement.

He said the ICRC was able to visit the Damascus Central Prison in the suburb of Adra yesterday.

"Initially, we will have access to persons detained by the Ministry of the Interior, and we are hopeful that we will soon be able to visit all detainees," Kellenberger said. "This is an important step forward for our humanitarian activities in Syria," he said.

During talks with Assad, Kellenberger said he discussed the use of force by security forces and the need to respect the physical and psychological well-being of the detainees, as well as the latest developments in the country since his last visit in June.

"The purpose of these visits ... is to ensure that detainees are treated humanely and that their dignity is respected and preserved," the ICRC said. Kellenberger also said that his main concern was to ensure that the wounded and sick are able to obtain medical care.

Bureau Report


First Published: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 00:44


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