RealNews

Red Cross Messages Aid Afghan Prisoners

Censored and short, they don’t say much. But the letters that prisoners in Afghanistan send through the Red Cross tell families crucial news. “I’m alive. I’m fine. Don’t worry about me,” read part of a letter home from Mohammad Iqbal, who is being held in northern Afghanistan. The International Committee of the Red Cross exchanges messages between detainees worldwide and their families, providing what often amounts to the only link between the two. The rules are simple: Steer clear of politics and stick to family news. “It’s often the only chance to have contact with their family, to be in touch with the outside world,” said Jean-Yves Clemenzo, a Red Cross delegate. Iqbal’s Red Cross message, scrawled in Dari with a blue pen, was delivered to his parents in the capital, Kabul, on Sunday. He was captured with Taliban fighters as they fled a U.S. air assault in 2001 mounted in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Full Story

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