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International Committee of the Red Cross registers all combatants leaving the Azovstal plant

Thursday, 19 May 2022, 14:11
International Committee of the Red Cross registers all combatants leaving the Azovstal plant

OLENA ROSHCHINA - THURSDAY, 19 MAY 2022, 14:11

A team from the International Committee of the Red Cross says they have registered hundreds of Ukrainian prisoners of war this week from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the Russian Kremlin-aligned news agency "RIA Novosti"

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Details: On Tuesday, 17 May, at the request of the parties, the International Committee of the Red Cross began registering combatants leaving the Azovstal plant, including the wounded. The operation continued on Wednesday and was still ongoing on Thursday, i.e. 18-19 May. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross is not transporting prisoners of war to the places where they are being held.

The registration process that the ICRC facilitated involves filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth, and next of kin. This information allows the Committee to track those who have been captured and help them keep in touch with their families.

In accordance with the mandate given to the ICRC by the states parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the Committee must have immediate access to all prisoners of war in all places where they are held. The ICRC must be allowed to interview them without witnesses, and the duration and frequency of these visits should not be unduly restricted. 

Whenever circumstances permit, each party to the conflict must take all possible measures to search for and collect the dead, the organisation added.

The ICRC "maintains a confidential dialogue with the parties to the conflict on their obligations under international humanitarian law."

The International Committee of the Red Cross has not said exactly how many Azovstal combatants have been registered.

Earlier in the day, Russian propagandists from RIA Novosti said that representatives of Kyiv and the International Committee of the Red Cross had visited captured Ukrainian soldiers and made sure they were being held in adequate conditions.

According to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, 771 more combatants of the Azov Regiment left Azovstal the previous day, and a total of 1,730 soldiers, including 80 wounded, "surrendered" on 16 May. On 18 May, it was reported that 959 fighters had left the besieged plant. 

Denis Pushilin, an aide to the occupiers in the temporarily occupied area of the Donetsk region, said on Thursday morning that more than half of the Ukrainian servicemen that were at Azovstal had already "laid down their arms."

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