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ICRC to Visit Al-Qaida and Taleban Detainees - 2002-08-22


The International Red Cross says next month it will re-visit hundreds of al-Qaida and Taleban detainees being held at the U-S base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Red Cross says it also wants to meet with any new arrivals and learn about possible changes in conditions and arrangements under which the detainees are being held.

From January to July, Red Cross officials held private, confidential talks with the 564 detainees -- whom U-S officials describe as enemy combatants, not prisoners of war. The Red Cross says it is concerned that classifying them as enemy combatants strips them of their rights and protections under the Geneva Conventions concerning prisoners of war.

The detainees are suspected of having ties to the Taleban or the al-Qaida terror network. They were transferred to the Guantanamo Base from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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