Iraq “a human tragedy”, says Red Cross

The hundreds of thousands of people missing in Iraq are just the tip of the country’s looming humanitarian crisis, the International Red Cross warned today.

Around 375,000 of the population have vanished due to continued fighting, sectarian, ethnic, and religious violence and forced displacement, said Karl Matley, outgoing head of the Iraqi branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

A report called 'Humanitarian Tragedy in Iraq' said the missing included tens of thousands who were held in the custody of Iraqi authorities and the multinational forces.

The Geneva-based independent humanitarian organisation works to protect the lives of victims of war and internal violence also highlighted the issue of detainees in Iraqi jails, which exceed 60,000 prisoners. The ICRC has been allowed to visit “only a small portion” of them, he said, without providing the number.

[Evening Echo]

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