Bissau/Dakar — Between 6 and 8 November, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited 17 persons detained in Guinea-Bissau following an attack on a military barracks near the country's capital on 21 October.
The aim of the ICRC's visits to people in places of detention is to make sure that those being held, for whatever reason, are treated with dignity and humanity, in accordance with international rules and standards.
The visits in Bissau were conducted in accordance with the ICRC's customary working procedures. In particular, ICRC staff talked to the detainees in private. "We shared our findings on the conditions in which the detainees were being held and the treatment they were receiving with the detaining authorities in a confidential manner," said Alec Guichard, a delegate who took part in the visits.
One of the detainees sent a brief message containing family news to his spouse living abroad. Hygiene items were provided for all 17 detainees.
The ICRC has been working since 1998 in Guinea-Bissau, where it brings aid to people adversely affected by various situations of violence. In addition, it provides support for a physical rehabilitation centre in Bissau and for three health-care facilities in São Domingos with the aim of improving the care provided. It carries out these activities in cooperation with the health ministry.