Comoros: ICRC and government sign prison visits agreement
GENEVA, Switzerland, October 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Comorian Foreign and Cooperation Ministry and the ICRC have signed an agreement on humanitarian work for detainees. The agreement, which was signed in Moroni on 10 October, sets out the procedures for ICRC detainee visits, formalizing use of the standard procedures the ICRC follows throughout the world, and which the organization has applied in the Comoros for the last two decades.
"In signing this agreement, the Comorian government has demonstrated its desire for long-term dialogue with the ICRC on the treatment of detainees and their conditions of detention," stated Christoph Vogt, who heads the ICRC regional delegation that covers the the Indian Ocean.
The aim of the ICRC's visits is to assess detainee treatment and conditions of detention. The organization has stepped up its visits over the last three years, and has boosted its efforts to help the authorities improve conditions.
At Moroni Prison, the ICRC has built an area where inmates can receive family visits under suitable conditions, and has installed showers, latrines and kitchens. The organization has also made improvements to the water supply at the prison. In addition to carrying out practical work, the ICRC has been facilitating discussions between the authorities and organizations that could play a useful role in prison, especially as concerns medical services for the inmates.
The ICRC has visited Moroni Prison five times so far this year. Working with volunteers from the Comoros Red Crescent, the organization has distributed hygiene products and conducted repairs.