Red Cross did not promise protection to prisoners from Azovstal – organization statement

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated that they did not promise to guarantee the safety of the defenders of Azovstal who left the plant. About it informed press office of the committee.

The ICRC claims that they were only “a neutral intermediary in the withdrawal of the military from Azovstal”, citing a lack of authority.

“We did not guarantee the safety of prisoners of war who fell into the hands of the enemy, because this is not in our power. We have clarified this to the parties in advance. The parties to the conflict are obliged to ensure the protection of prisoners of war from acts of violence, intimidation and public curiosity, as well as from the consequences of hostilities. Only the parties to the conflict can finally ensure the safety of prisoners of war,” — noted in the organization.

According to representatives of the ICRC, they have the right to freely visit any places of detention of prisoners of war, private conversations with them, but solely for the purpose of “making sure that the integrity and dignity of prisoners of war are respected, and the conditions of their internment comply with the laws and internationally recognized standards.”

At the same time, the organization does not have an algorithm of actions and levers of influence to eliminate violations of the maintenance of prisoners and humiliation of their dignity and cannot influence the parties to the conflict.

Read also: Killing of prisoners in Olenivka – Ukraine requested UN and Red Cross inspection

The ICRC has stated that it is not involved in trials and will neither testify nor provide legal information to any judicial or investigative mechanism.

The Red Cross also added that so far did not get access to the victims of the explosion of prisoners of war and do not have security guarantees for this visit, although they are ready to go to the site of the tragedy as soon as possible.

Recall that request for access to the colony in Olenovka The ICRC filed on 29 July.

As reported, the strike on the colony in Olenovka led to the death of 40 and the injury of 130 Ukrainiansincluding captured military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and civilians.

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