[JURIST] The International Committee of the Red Cross [advocacy website] has completed its first meeting with prisoners now held by US forces at the expanded Camp Cropper [Wikipedia backgrounder] prison in Iraq, according to a press release [text] posted on the organizations website Tuesday. The 16-member delegation included one medical doctor, and was able to meet privately with detainees of their choosing to discuss conditions at the camp. The delegation had unrestricted access to the facility, and the detainees were given the opportunity to write to their families care of the Red Cross.
Camp Cropper, which currently houses approximately 3,550 prisoners, is largely comprised of detainees transferred from the former Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive], which was transferred to Iraqi control [JURIST report] in late August. This was the first opportunity in more than 20 months that the ICRC had to visit the prisoners, since they suspended visitations to Abu Ghraib in January, 2005 after an ICRC employee was killed. The ICRC, formally entrusted under the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] with visiting prisoners of war, has performed more than 50 inspections of Iraqi detention centers this year, transmitting approximately 6,000 messages from detainees to family members each month. The Washington Post has more.