The ICRC recently reached out to Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Thursday that it had gained access to Ukrainian and Russian prisoners of war, which until then had been few and far between. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has often harshly criticized the ICRC because, in his view, the organization has not done enough to reach Ukrainian soldiers held captive by Russian forces. The ICRC itself has expressed its frustration at not being able to fulfill its mandate, although it is enshrined in the Geneva Conventions, which define the laws of war.
“Last week, the ICRC conducted a two-day visit to Ukrainian prisoners of war. Another visit is taking place this week. During the same period, Russian prisoners of war were also visited. More visits are planned before the end of the month., says the ICRC report. The representatives were able to assess the living conditions and treatment of the prisoners, and deliver messages to their families, the organization further points out. She was able to distribute books, personal hygiene items, blankets and warm clothes. The ICRC did not provide details on the prisoners’ living conditions.
The ICRC did not immediately respond to a question from Agence France-Presse about the number of detainees it had taken or where the Red Cross teams might go. “These visits represent an important step forward as they help protect humanity from the horrors of international armed conflict.”ICRC President Mirjana Spoljarić was quoted in the statement. “We are able to assess how prisoners of war are being treated and ensure that their families are informed. I hope that at the end of these visits, regular access will be granted to all prisoners of war.”, she added. However, the organization was not satisfied with these visits. “The recent visits are an important step forward. Nevertheless, the ICRC must be granted unfettered access to all prisoners of war, wherever they are held, to be able to visit them repeatedly and without witnesses.Underlines the press release.
The UN Human Rights Watch in Ukraine recently detailed the ill-treatment of prisoners of war by their Russian or Ukrainian prisons, citing specific cases of torture. If Ukrainian authorities are to grant unrestricted access to Russian prison camps, it must rely on the testimony of freed Ukrainian prisoners who could not enter Russian-controlled camps. “Majority” Interview captured by Russian forces and its allied armed groups “They told us they were tortured and ill-treated during their detention.”Ms Bogner said.
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