Sunday, October 6, 2013

ICRC checks conditions of MNLF detainees

From the Manila Bulletin (Oct 7): ICRC checks conditions of MNLF detainees

The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) has deployed medical workers to check into the health and living conditions of at least 230 detained members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who participated in the siege in Zamboanga City last month.

The ICRC said two of its doctors have already visited the MNLF members, who are facing rebellion charges for instigating the weeks-long crisis in Zamboanga City, to attend to their medical and other daily needs.

The crisis left at least 244 dead and thousands of civilians wounded and homeless.
“They have monitored the conditions in which the detainees are being held and the treatment they receive,” ICRC said.

“The detainees have had a medical screening and received clothes, slippers, soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Food and medical supplies for the detainees were given to the detaining authorities,” it added.

ICRC also said it provided food rations to about 10,000 displaced residents in evacuation centers and distribute essential items to 51,000 others.

The ICRC is appealing to the government for long-term assistance for the affected residents, who now faced prolonged displacement after they lost their homes and livelihood.

It urged the government to continue providing basic utilities in evacuation centers as well as the creation of disease monitoring system.

“These people have been exposed to violence. Now they are living under difficult conditions in evacuation centers. That adds up to a lot of stress, especially for vulnerable and elderly people,” ICRC said.

“We need to provide safe water, decent sanitation and a disease monitoring system to prevent the outbreak of disease,” it added.

In a related development, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said private companies have expressed interest to provide temporary employment for the displaced workers.

This is apart from the government emergency employment program, which will benefit at least 1,300 affected workers.

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