[JURIST] Representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross [official website] have visited for the first time with detainees held in Iraqi prisons, according to a statement from the ICRC Thursday. ICRC spokesperson Dorothea Krimitsas said that ICRC monitors met with some of the 1,700 detainees held at Fort Suse [JURIST report], an Iraqi-controlled prison in northern Iraq. The ICRC negotiated for three years with the Iraqi government for access to the detainees, but Krimitsas said that ICRC delegates were able to choose which detainees to meet with at Fort Suse and that the ICRC hopes to reach an agreement with the government which would allow it access to all Iraqi-controlled detention facilities.
The ICRC is formally entrusted under the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] with visiting prisoners of war and inspecting the conditions of their detention. The ICRC in Iraq [ICRC materials] currently has arrangements with US forces allowing access to some 20,000 detainees and with Kurds to allow visitation with another 1,500 detainees. AP has more.