ICRC visits Afghan prisoners held by Taliban
GENEVA - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has made its first visit to Afghan prisoners held by the Taliban. The visit took place last month in the north-western province of Badghis. Patrick Maigua reports from Geneva.
The ICRC says this is the first time since the beginning of the current conflict in Afghanistan that it has been given access to detainees held by the Taliban militant group. ICRC says it visited three members of the Afghan security forces in two separate visits during the month of November. ICRC could not divulge the conditions of the detainees, but describes the visit as a breakthrough. Carla Haddad Mardini is a spokesperson for the ICRC in Geneva.
"It is a major breakthrough because it will allow the ICRC to asses the conditions of detention and treatment and be able to make recommendations to the detaining party, in this case the Taliban. The objective behind this is to be able to repeat such a visit, but also to conduct such visits in other regions in Afghanistan."
ICRC says it has visited 136 places of detention in Afghanistan and registered more than 16,000 prisoners held by Afghan authorities and the International forces since the beginning of the current conflict in 2001.