The eight men - three from the Royal Nepalese Army and five from the Nepal Police -- had been captured in Siraha during an encounter between security forces and Maoists on 8-9 May 2005. The release operation took place in Panchthar district, in Eastern Nepal, in the presence of representatives from the ICRC and the CPN-M.
Acting in its capacity as a neutral and independent intermediary recognized by both parties to the conflict, the ICRC conducted the operation in accordance with its standard procedures.
A team of two ICRC delegates spoke to the eight detainees in private before their release. The delegates then travelled with them to Biratnagar, where they were handed over to representatives of the Nepal Police.
The ICRC has been working with the parties to the conflict in Nepal since 1998 as an impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian organisation whose purpose is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence. It took part in similar release operations in October 2001 when 25 policemen were handed over to the Nepal Police in Nepalgunj and in 2004, when in two separate events, a total of 76 members of the Nepal Police, the Royal Nepalese Army and the civil service were released. On 29 April 2005, the ICRC facilitated the release by the CPN-M of the Chief District Officer and the Local Development Officer of Arghakhanchi.
Issued as a press release by the ICRC's delegation in Kathmandu.
For further information, please contact:
Giuseppe Pogliari, ICRC Kathmandu, tel.
++ 977 1 44 82 285 -- 98510 34638
Vincent Lusser, ICRC Geneva, tel. ++ 41 22 730 24 26