News

    Red Cross Visits Detainees Held by Taliban

    The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has carried out the first visits to three members of the Afghan security forces detained by the Taliban in Badghis province, in northwestern Afghanistan. The Swiss humanitarian organization says two visits to the Afghan prisoners took place at the end of last month.

    Red Cross Visits Detainees Held by Taliban
    Red Cross Visits Detainees Held by Taliban
    Lisa Schlein

    The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has carried out the first visits to three members of the Afghan security forces detained by the Taliban in Badghis province, in northwestern Afghanistan.  The Swiss humanitarian organization says two visits to the Afghan prisoners took place at the end of last month.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross says this is the first time since the beginning of the conflict in Afghanistan the ICRC has visited people detained by the Taliban.

    ICRC Spokeswoman Carla Haddad Mardini says the access to the three Afghan prisoners under Taliban custody is the result of years of work. 

    "So, it is a major breakthrough because it will allow the ICRC to assess the conditions of detention and treatment and be able to make recommendations to the detaining party, in this case the Taliban," she said.

    "Our objective behind this is to be able to repeat such a visit, but also to conduct such visits in other regions in Afghanistan and the idea is to be able to repeat visits and conduct visits elsewhere, to visit detainees who are held by other armed opposition groups," she added. 

    The ICRC regularly visits people detained during armed conflict to assess their conditions of detention and treatment.  As in all other cases, the visits are private and the information received is strictly confidential.

    So, Haddad Mardini says she cannot publicly comment on the conditions under which the Afghan prisoners are being held by the Taliban. 

    "But, what I can say is we have assessed the conditions of detention and we made an intervention with the detaining authorities," she said.  "Here, in this case, it is the detaining party, which is the Taliban.  So we did assess the conditions of detention and treatment and made recommendations when we felt necessary." 

    Haddad Mardini says it is important to be able to repeat visits.  Otherwise, it is difficult to assess the conditions of detention and treatment over a period of time. 

    She says she does not know how many prisoners the Taliban hold.  But, she say the ICRC currently is visiting 136 places of detention in Afghanistan and has registered more than 16,000 prisoners since the U.S. invasion in 2001. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora