On 3 November, upon the request of the authorities concerned, the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) assisted in the repatriation of three Azeri
civilians from Armenia to Azerbaijan, and of one Armenian military serviceman
from Azerbaijan to Armenia. Before their hand-over the four persons had confirmed
to the ICRC their wish to be repatriated. The repatriation took place in the
Gazakh region, with the full co-operation of the Azerbaijani and Armenian authorities.
In November, the ICRC carried out detention visits to one IVS (isolator for
temporary detention) in Baku, and another in Ganja, under the Ministry of Interior.
Visits were also made to Ganja SIZO (pre-trial isolator) and Gobustan prison
under the Ministry of Justice. The visits were conducted in accordance with
ICRC standard procedures, which include private interviews with detainees, and
confidential discussions with the detaining authorities regarding the conditions
of detention and the treatment of detainees.
During the month, the Orthopaedic Centre in Baku, operated jointly by the Ministry
of Labour and Social Protection and the ICRC, housed 33 patients in its dormitory,
and delivered 24 prostheses (including one for a mine victim) and 66 orthoses.
Another 10 patients were supplied with crutches and sticks. A total of 75 patients
consulted the Centre.
The Ministry of Justice runs a tuberculosis (TB) project within the penitentiary
system of Azerbaijan. This program allows for the treatment and follow-up of
detainees infected by TB. The ICRC ensures the supply of all necessary anti-TB
medicaments to the central treatment facility in Bina district, Baku. In addition
to providing technical advice, the ICRC also collaborates with the Ministry
to monitor and evaluate the evolution of the TB programme. On 14 November, the
ICRC and the Ministry of Justice signed an agreement on rehabilitation and extension
of the bacteriological laboratory in Colony 3. This month, 584 detainee patients
were undergoing TB-treatment in accordance with the standard recommended by
the World Health Organisation, better known by its acronym DOTS (Directly Observed
Treatment Short Course).
As a result of successful cooperation with the International Law and International
Relations Society, the ICRC sponsored the translation of IHL documents into
Azeri and publication of those texts in the International Law Review, founded
by the Society. The review is available in the ICRC Baku delegation, free of
The ICRC's 500 Afghan staff in Kabul have continued their work in the past
weeks without interruption and without regard to what group is in control of
the city. Since the city changed hands on 13 November, as before, they have
ensured that bodies have been collected and buried, and that hospitals and other
health facilities have received adequate medical supplies.
In the first two weeks of November, the ICRC restored a direct supply of safe
drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people in Kabul. In one project,
the ICRC's Afghan engineers and technical staff replaced about
nine metres of a bomb-damaged water main, which was part of a distribution system
that brought drinking water from bore holes on the outskirts of the city to
some 300,000 residents.
On 24 November, the President of the ICRC, Mr. Jakob Kellenberger, paid a 24-hour
visit to Kabul where he met with members of the organization's Afghan staff
and expressed his high appreciation of their courage and commitment which have
enable them to maintain the bulk of the ICRC activities in Afghanistan throughout
the past two months.
In view of the possibility that major population movements may take place in
Afghanistan, which is known to be one of the most mine-infested countries in
the world, the ICRC is gradually resuming its mine-awareness activities.
ICRC offices in Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, Faizabad, Gulbahar and Kabul
are again fully operational. In terms of assistance, the ICRC's immediate priorities
are to ensure that health facilities (mainly hospitals) throughout the country
and the six orthopaedic centres have the capacity to cope with the needs of
the population, to support the rehabilitation of water supply systems within
the towns that may have been damaged during the recent military operations,
to distribute food and shelter material within the towns to particularly vulnerable
groups of persons such as handicapped, widows, persons hospitalized and especially
vulnerable groups of persons displaced within the cities.
In terms of protection, the ICRC's immediate focus is to access the detention
places where members of the Taliban forces are detained by the United Front
to ensure adequate treatment during their detention and to provide them with
the possibility to re-establish contact with members of their families through
Red Cross messages.
The ICRC is maintaining an open and constant dialogue with all the parties
to the conflict at all levels. It is reminding them of their obligations under
International Humanitarian Law, emphasizing their responsibilities with regards
to captured combatants.
NOTE: The next ICRC bulletin willl appear at the beginning of February 2002,
and will cover activites from December 2001- January 2002.
The ICRC wishes you a happy new year!
For further information please, contact
ICRC DELEGATION BAKU
FATALI KHAN KHOISKI av. 75, 370110, BAKU
Tel: 90 63 34, 90 63 35, 90 64 52, 40 62 22 Fax: 90 65 19